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July 5, 2013  

Supplied by ActiveWorx Administrator from ActiveWorx

Gerald Ciolek brought his Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung the hoped-for stage win at the Tour of Austria (June 30 – July 7 / UCI 2.HC), by winning the mass sprint in stage six. The Milan-SanRemo winner won after 182.2 kilometres from Maria Taferl to Poysdorf after his teammates set him up perfectly. Second place went to Italian Simone Ponzi (Astana) and third to Australian Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff).

It was Gerald Ciolek’s third stage win in the Tour through the Alpine republic, after winning two stages and the best sprinter ranking in 2007, while wearing the jersey of the U-23 World Champion.

“This is a great day for our team. I have always said that this tour is an absolute highlight for us, and that just makes this win more important for the team,” said a beaming Ciolek after his victory. “We took charge of things early and helped control the race. I am proud that I can give something back to this wonderful team and our Qhubeka Bikes4Kids project.”

“That was a fantastic sprint by Gerald after our guys did a super job setting things up. Finally we have the stage win we wanted,” said directeur sportif Jens Zemke. “Tomorrow Ignatas [Konovalovas] will start in his new national jersey in a time trial for the first time. The jersey will surely motivate him and we hope for a good result.”

As expected, there was once again an escape group which led most of the stage. After many early attempts, a trio was finally able to get away. Austrians Christoph Springer (Vorarlberg) and Benjamin Edmüller (ARBÖ) and French rider Julien Fouchard (Cofidis) were at the front of the race until the onrushing peloton caught them up with 15 kilometers to go and the expected mass sprint was set up.

Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) continues to lead the race, with Riccardo Zoidl (Gourmetfein) second and Alexandr Dyachenko (Astana) third. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s Sergio Pardilla is 14th overall and Dennis Van Niekerk is 24th overall, both moving up one place.

Ignatas Konovalovas will make his debut as 2013 Lithuanian national time trial champion on Saturday. The MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung all-rounder will wear his new national jersey for the first time in the Tour of Austria time trial which runs 24 kilometers around the Podersdorfer See, before the race ends on Sunday in Vienna.

Race information:

Tour of Austria – (June 30 –July 7 / UCI 2.HC): Gerald Ciolek (GER), Martin Reimer (GER), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Sergio Pardilla (ESP), Johann Van Zyl (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Martin Wesemann (RSA), Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA)

Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Kevin Campbell (Directeur Sportif), Basti Büffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Jarrad Zuydam (Doctor), Heiko Heinrici (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Francesco Bonnini (Bus Driver)

Team MTN-Qhubeka trains and races with SRM Training Systems and are coached by Dr Carol Austin and Trevor Court of ACTIVEWORX

Photo Credit: Mario Stiehl