After a three-year break, the “Österreich Rundfahrt” restarts as the Tour of Austria from 2nd to 6th of July 2023. A unique aspect of the event in international cycling is the organization, as the five Austrian Continental teams will take charge of Austria’s most important cycling event.
It is a unique story in international cycling. Never before have the leading teams of a country come together to organize the biggest national cycling race. The team managers of Hrinkow Advarics, Team Felbermayr Simplon Wels, Team Vorarlberg, Tirol KTM Cycling Team and WSA KTM Graz P/B Leomo, together with Wolfgang Konrad, Managing Director of the Vienna City Marathon, decided to take over the agendas for the implementation of the tour from the Austrian Cycling Federation. Mag. Thomas Pupp from the Tirol KTM Team and Thomas Kofler from Team Vorarlberg will serve as tour directors, with Jürgen Schatzmann from Vorarlberg as the organizational leader. In terms of marketing, Innauer + (f) acts, the agency of former ski jumping star Toni Innauer and Wolfgang Schwarzmann, was brought on board. The name is also new, as the 72nd Int. Österreich Rundfahrt is now called the Tour of Austria.
20 teams and 140 riders
The race will be held in the UCI category 2.1, allowing a field of all three professional categories: WorldTeams, Professional Continental- and Continental Teams. “The linup will consist of 20 teams, each with seven riders. There is a lot of interest and we have already received many applications. We are also proactively approaching teams and would especially welcome WorldTeams with Austrian professionals,” explains Thomas Pupp.
5 stages from Dornbirn to Sonntagberg
“All stage locations are fixed and we are still working on the exact route. We will announce the stage details in the coming weeks,” says Tour Director Thomas Kofler. The tour will begin on July 1st and 2nd, 2023, in Dornbirn. On Saturday evening, all participating teams will be presented on the big tour stage in the marketplace. Then, on Sunday, the starting signal for the first stage will be given, taking the riders through many beautiful regions of Vorarlberg.
Following in the footsteps of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, the second stage will go from St. Anton am Arlberg to Innsbruck. The first steeper climbs await the riders through the Inn Valley. The third stage on July 4th is also the queen stage. After starting in Sillian in East Tyrol, the riders will go over the Grossglockner to St. Johann/Alpendorf in Salzburg. The penultimate stage on July 5th will also be the longest of the Tour of Austria. Starting from Salzburg, St. Johann/Alpendorf, through Upper Austria to the eastern border to Steyr. The big final of the Tour of Austria will take place on July 6th in Lower Austria: From Ybbs on the Danube, the riders will pass through the picturesque Mostviertel, where two rounds over the toxic climb await at the pilgrimage basilica of Sonntagberg. “Whoever is in front there will probably also win the tour! That’s how we guarantee excitement until the end,” says Thomas Pupp!
New stage concepts at the Tour of Austria
With new stage concepts, the organizers want to inspire both cyclists and spectators along the route. “Shorter stages and final laps in the finish towns should increase the excitement and variety even more. Over the next three years, we want to visit all nine federal states at least once. But in the next few months, our focus is on the smooth implementation of the Tour of Austria 2023,” add Kofler and Pupp in unison.
Springboard for many professionals
Since its first editions, the Tour of Austria has produced numerous heroes. In recent cycling history, Patrick Konrad, Felix Großschartner, Lukas Pöstlberger, and Gregor Mühlberger celebrated their first successes at home before making the leap to international top teams. “The Tour of Austria is essential for domestic teams and riders. That’s why I’m also pleased that ORF and K19 are providing comprehensive coverage of the Tour of Austria. The last 90 minutes of each stage can be seen live on K19. The daily Tour of Austria magazine will be broadcast on ORF 1 and ORF Sport Sport Plus,” says Thomas Pupp. Harald Mayer, President of the Austrian Cycling Federation (ÖRV), was also present at the presentation in Waidhofen an der Ybbs: “I am very pleased that after a three-year break, the traditional Tour of Austria will be restarted. Thanks and recognition are due to the initiative and efforts of the five Austrian Continental Teams on behalf of Cycling Austria.”
The stages of the Tour of Austria:
- stage: 2nd of July: Vorarlberg (Dornbirn – Dornbirn)
- stage, 3rd of July: Tirol (St. Anton – Innsbruck)
- stage, 4th of July: Osttirol – Salzburg (Sillian – St. Johann/Alpendorf)
- stage, 5th of July: Salzburg – Oberösterreich (St. Johann/Alpendorf – Steyr)
- stage, 6th of July: Niederösterreich (Ybbs an der Donau – Sonntagberg)