The French autumn classic Tour de Vendée between La Chaize-le-Vicomte und La Roche-sur-Yon is a little over 200km long. The race categorized by the UCI as 1.1 featured a strong cast like teams Cofidis, AG2R, FDJ and WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect, who all sent their fastest rider to the starting line.
Among them was also Team Vorarlberg with Patrick Jäger. Right from the beginning he separated from the peloton together with a head group and remained there until the end of the first half of the race when the group was caught again by the peloton. This was clear proof of his good shape and that made him become second in Ranshofen a couple of days prior. But unfortunately he was not able to finish the race this time.
His team mate Fabian Lienhard also seemed to like the technical course and the rain which made the course even trickier. He was at the front of the peloton when more and more riders could not keep the pace – until only 20 remained. Four kilometres before the finish Lienhard slipped and crashed, luckily without getting injured. Quickly he was back in the saddle and continued his pursuit until the finish line which he crossed in third. A great result for the young Vorarlberg rider in a race that featured Cofidis pro Christophe Laporte as the winner. Lienhard’s team mate Patrick Schelling finished the race in 16th place.
In the Austrian Bundesliga (Federal League race series) Team Vorarlberg entered the concluding team time trial in Attersee with only four of the usual six riders and yet finished fifth. A good result regarding the many absences due to sickness and the fact that most of the stronger riders had to take part in races abroad. Overall the team finished the classification in fourth place.