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Big Win for Aqua Blue in Tour of Austria


Denifl is 2017 Tour of Austria Champion

Stefan Denifl has won the 2017 Tour of Austria.

He rolled, victorious, into the Austrian town of Wels to clinch the yellow jersey after a hilly final day. It is Aqua Blue Sport’s first general classification victory.

Denifl seized control of the GC on Stage Four to Kitzbuheler Horn as he finished second behind stage winner Angel Lopez. It was Stage Five that he earned his jersey as he raced against the whole peloton over the Grossglockner Pass. He repeatedly responded to multiple attacks and a daredevil 18 kilometre long downhill pursuit of Lopez ensured that the jersey was his for the final stage.

Stage six travelled across 203 kilometres from Saint Johann – Alpenbdorf to the town of Wels. Multiple attacks went clear as the teams began to challenge Aqua Blue Sport. Several climbs put some order on the chaos but then on the final second category Hochlecken ascent Katusha rushed to the front. The information from the pack was that they were attempting to devastate the fast sprint Italian team of Elia Viviani. It split the peloton and there were multiple groups on the road. Some of the Aqua Blue Sport riders more suited to the flat lands were isolated but climber Dan Pearson stayed and protected Denifl.

The peloton stayed clear of the second group and rolled into the finish area – as they crossed the line for the first time Denifl showed the yellow jersey at the front as a tribute to the fans.

Two laps later he crossed the line and straight into the arms of his family and teammates. The local crowd went crazy with delight and chanted his name.

Denifl said: “This is an amazing day – thanks to everyone on the team, my team mates, the sport directors, the soigneurs, the mechanics, the media staff, all the people that helped me. I want to say thanks to the Austrian fans, to my girlfriend – it was just amazing. It is my biggest win, it was about to happen for a long time. I am getting close to 30 years – I have been sometimes close to something big. Now I am just super happy and proud that I was able to finish it off today.”

Stephen Moore, team owner, said:

“Congratulations to Stefan and the whole team – this is a great result for not only Stefan but also the whole team. The riders in Austria worked hard the whole week to achieve this and so did our staff. Stefan has been working hard to achieve this and we are delighted to give him the opportunity to show his class.”

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