The completely flat 2.5-kilometer prologue, which started and finished in the center of Wels, was a true test of speed and power and it was Josef Černy who proved to be the strongest on the day for CCC Team.
The former Czech National Time Trial Champion stopped the clock at two minutes 55 seconds which initially put him into provisional third place however, as the final riders started to cross the line, he was pushed into sixth place, just five seconds behind the eventual winner, Jannick Steimle (Team Vorarlberg Santic).
Owsian joined Černy in the top ten, finishing in ninth place after posting a time of two minutes 56 seconds while, Jonas Koch was just outside the top ten another one second back.
Riccardo Zoidl, who is looking to target the General Classification on home soil once again after taking the overall title in 2013, also put in a strong effort out on the course to set a time comparable to most of his General Classification rivals, two minutes 58 seconds.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“Even though it was completely flat, the course was a little bit technical today with six corners in 2.5 kilometers so, when you were going on the limit, it was really hard to find the right line. However, it was an okay day for me. I was preparing a little for today’s stage so, looking back at it now, I am happy and I gave it my best shot. It was a short effort, only around three minutes, but you had to go full gas from the very beginning. I prefer longer prologues, I think they suit me more, but this was still a good way to start the race.”
“I am actually a little bit surprised with how I performed today. I am really happy with how I felt and it’s been a long time since I had that sort of feeling in my legs at the beginning of a race so that is a good sign for me. Even though I misjudged one turn, I was one of the best General Classification riders today so that was also a good thing for me and now I am now much more confident looking ahead to the rest of the race.”
“I always like racing at home and today’s stage and also tomorrow’s are really close to my house so that’s a special feeling. Plus, as an Austrian, if you win this race once, everybody in the country knows who you are so that is also a great feeling when I see all the fans supporting me.”
Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt-Tour of Austria
Prologue: Wels > Wels (2.5km)
Top 3: 1. Jannick Steimle (Team Vorarlberg Santic) 2. Matthias Brändle (Israel Cycling Academy) 3. Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Wanty – Gobert Cycling Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 6. Josef Černy 9. Łukasz Owsian 11. Jonas Koch