Frederik Backaert and Fabien Doubey were very motivated for the tough fourth stage in the Tour of Austria (2.1, 07-14 / 07). Like every day, the riders had to conquer more than 2800 altitude meters on Tuesday. From the start in Kitzbühel the road immediately went up. Odd Eiking did not feel 100% and, according to his own words, had "his worst day ever on on a bike". Odd still managed to reach the finish in the company of loyal teammate Mark McNally.
Frederik Backaert and Fabien Doubey both attacked several times. On the Felbertauern, a first category climb, Backaert accelerated with, among others, Cummings, Lutsenko and Mohoric. In the descent four riders accelerated again in that group. But the peloton did not intend to hand over the stage victory and kept chasing all day long. The four were caught, after which a group of about forty riders headed for the short, explosive hill in Prägraten. In the sprint Giovanni Visconti was the fastest. Frederik Backaert finished 13th in a mountain stage with an average speed of 43km/h (!). Doubey finished 30th in the first group and Kévin Van Melsen took 69th spot, a solid performance of Kévin.
"I jumped into a group on the ascent of the first category climb and just after the top four riders accelerated again. They never had a big gap, but they rode very strong. Astana then chased them down the whole day. "
"In the final, I missed some freshness. In the opening phase Fabien and I probably went a little too hard on the climbs in order to be able to compete for the Victory in the final. We really wanted to be part of the break and because of that I had to go full twice. "
"In the final sprint I was on the wrong side. I was positioned on the outside and there I was blocked a bit.
Tomorrow I take it easy towards the Großglockner. In the following days I certainly want to take my chances. "
Results Stage 4
1. Giovanni Visconti
2. Wout Van Aert
3. Michael Bresciani
13. Frederik Backaert
30. Fabien Doubey
69. Kevin Van Melsen + 05:30
83. Tom Devriendt + 08:28
84. Pieter Vanspeybrouck
111. Mark McNally + 14:28
128. Odd Eiking