Oscar Gatto and Miguel Angel Lopez brought a nice double victory to Astana Proteam in the prologue of the Tour of Austria, which has started today in Graz.
In a very short (800 meters) uphill individual time trial (with 16% maximal gradient) Gatto and Lopez marked almost the same time, while Miguel Angel missed less than one second to his teammate.
“The prologue was very hard. Yes, it was only 800 meters, but the climb was very tough and the riders had to give their all to get a good result. We had an opportunity to try this route for several times yesterday and today in the morning, so we knew it quite well. Oscar Gatto did a perfect race, he is in a great shape right now. I think, this victory is well deserved by him. Also, Miguel Angel was very strong on the distance, he fully recovered and reached a high level. Tomorrow we will have a fast stage and we have Riccardo Minali in the roster, he can do well in sprint. And, of course, we will do our best to protect our leadership,” – explained sports director Bruno Cenghialta.
It was a day of very short (800 m), but very intensive prologue from Graz to Schlossberg. Oscar Gatto finished with the best time (2 minutes and 11 seconds), which finally brought him a victory. Miguel Angel Lopez was very close to his teammate and missed just a little to overpass him, taking second place in prologue.
After the prologue, Oscar Gatto took the lead in the mountain classification too, while Astana leads in team’s classification.
Tomorrow will be held the first normal stage of the race: 193,8 km from Graz to Vienna.