Sep Vanmarcke took second place in the final stage of the Tour of Austria on Saturday. It was his third podium finish in the seven-day stage race and earned him the green jersey as winner of the points classification.
“This Tour of Austria has been good to me,” Vanmarcke said. “I wore the yellow leader’s jersey. I finished on a stage podium three times, took top-five another two times and I won the green jersey.”
The final stage came after two tough mountain stages, one of which was over 200 kilometres.
“The stages on Thursday and Friday were really hard,” Vanmarcke said. “It was just a matter of getting through those stages for me.
“Tom-Jelte [Slagter] was really strong,” he said. “After his stage two win, he has been part of the action all week.”
Cannondale-Drapac was eyeing the final stage to finish off the Tour of Austria on a high note.
“Today was a tough stage,” Vanmarcke said. “It was a long stage, with a pretty challenging profile in the first 120 kilometres.”
“There was a five-kilometre climb with the top at 115 kilometres,” he added. “The peloton broke into pieces on the climb. The pace remained high across the top, so it was impossible for anyone not in that first group to return to the front.”
Double stage winner Elia Viviani, riding for the Italian national team and leading the points classification ahead of stage six, hadn’t made the split. Only nine points behind in the classification, Vanmarcke saw his chance.
His Cannondale-Drapac teammates provided another successful lead-out, and Vanmarcke crossed the line in second place, behind Clément Venturini (Cofidis). The twelve points he pocketed along with the stage result put him atop the points classification.
Vanmarcke received the green jersey with the complementary salami sausage during the final podium ceremony of this year’s Tour of Austria.
“It was a wonderful week, both for me personally and for the team,” Vanmarcke concluded. “We won a stage with TJ, were strong as a team and finished on the podium of a stage five times in seven days.”