Zabel Third After Crash At Tour of Austria9. July 2015, Matrei in Osttirol (AUT) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team's Rick Zabel bounced back from a high-speed crash to finish third Thursday at the Tour of Austria as Johann van Zyl (MTN-Qhuebeka) held on for a six-second solo win after being part of a three-man breakaway.
David Tanner (IAM Cycling) won the field sprint for runner-up honors as the peloton nearly closed a 44-second gap in the last three kilometers of the 175-km race.
The crash happened with about 35 km to go when Zabel said he touched wheels with a teammate while riding near the front of the peloton on a high-speed descent. More than three dozen riders went down, leading race officials to stop the breakaway – which was more than two minutes up the road – until the peloton could regroup. Upon the re-start with 19 km to go, the breakaway was given its same advantage and van Zyl eventually soloed away from his two counterparts.
"You have to say the guys in front were lucky because of the big crash," Zabel said. "All the time the race was stopped, the guys in the breakaway were able to go 15 kilometers pretty easy and recover. Then we were standing there two-and-a-half minutes waiting to start. But that's cycling."
BMC Racing Team's Brent Bookwalter was also in the top 10 for the fourth time this week, in ninth.
With three days to go, Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) leads BMC Racing Team's Ben Hermans by two seconds. Fourteen other riders are within two minutes of the lead, including Bookwalter in eighth (at 47 seconds) and teammate Dylan Teuns in 16th (at 1:49).
BMC Racing Team's Dr. Dario Spinelli said Zabel's injuries amount to road rash on his left knee, elbow and hip.
The winner of Tuesday's stage said he should be able to start Friday's race, which finishes atop the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain.
"It is not so bad," Zabel said. "I can keep going, I think."
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