A well-known and a new face where on top of the 1st stage of the 24th Alpentour Trophy in the Schladming-Dachstein area in Austria. The multiple World Champion and title defender Leonardo Paez from Columbia was the fastest man after 67 kilometres. As last year he distanced opponents by some minutes. Last year he was ten minutes faster than the second rider, today it was nearly five minutes. Second was his teammate Alexey Medvedev. At the women’s elite Czech Milena Kalasova secured her first stage win at the four-day-long stage race in Austria.
“I’m very happy with the win. I know the Alpentour very well, as I always come back with a smile. I like the stages of the race, they suit me perfect with the climbs. And on this terrain, I can play my cards best”, explained the 40-Year-Old. 4:31 minutes after the Columbian, his teammate Medvedev arrived at the finish line.
“It is ages ago, nearly ten years, when I stood here last on the podium. Leonardo did a tremendous race, but I’m happy with my result. I took me some years where I chased my shape”, Medvedev said. Third place went to Belgian Champion Frans Claes, who finished third in the overall standings of last year. Behind the Norwegian Ole Heim and Italian Lorenzo Samparisi young Austrian Michael Holland was the fastest local hero, 14 Minutes behind Paez.
At the women’s elite the Czech rider Milena Kalasova surprised. Although the top three finisher of last year where in the start list, no one of them managed to get into the top three of the first stage. Kalasova won after four hours and 16 minutes with a lead of 4:17 minutes ahead of the German Andrea Böttger.
“I never believed in a win today, but although it was so hot, everything was perfect”, smiled the new leader of the race. Also, second-placed Böttger was surprised with her result. “This was my first race day this season, so I didn’t know what to expect. I had so much time this year, but the training sessions were quite good I suppose”, told Böttger.
Third place went to Austria and Marlies Feichtenhofer, who won the last years amateur division. “It was so hot, but amazing. I knew the course from last year”, told the Austrian, who secured her podium spot in the downhill, where she passed Sweden’s Nellie Larsson, the third of the overall standings of last year.
Second day will lead the field tomorrow into the Reiteralm skiing area. 55 kilometres and 2.700 metres of altitude are waiting there to the starters of this years Alpentour. Some famous names of the race include Paris-Roubaix winner Jean-Marie Wampers, Tour-de-France-participant Johnny Hoogerland or former ski jumper Andreas Goldberger from Austria. “It is a dream to race here. Everything is perfectly organized. In the feed zone the helpers also cleaned my glasses, when I refilled my bottles.