It's that time of year again, and I'm happy to be riding the Tour... of Austria that is. :) I do hope that I'll get my crack at the Tour de France in the future, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm back at one of my favorite races of the whole year. The Tour of Austria takes us through beautiful country, has beautiful parcours, great food, good organization, and usually nice hotels. I also like that I get a chance to brush up my Deutsch a little bit while here. The funniest part for me though is that I know 100% that I am of German heritage when I get to this part of Europe (Austria, Switzerland, Germany) because I am instantly magnetized to the food. I love the dark seedy breads, pretzel rolls, and meat & potatoes diet of these countries. In any case, I'm here to do a race that happens to be one of my favorites, so it's a good thing!
This year the race starts off with a bang. The finish of stage one is already an HC (hors category) climb. We actually drove the finishing climb today on the way from the airport, and it isn't quite as tough as I was guessing, but I definitely expect some serious shake up already tomorrow. The climb is long but fairly irregular. It begins pretty steady but then it has some flats, downhills, and steep parts. I suspect it will be a very fast climb, too. It's currently raining, sometimes snowing up here at 2000 meters, so I hope the weather will clear for tomorrow and we can enjoy the race! Check back in for the updates.