After a one-year break due to the coronavirus crisis, the 33rd Dolomite Bike Tour took place on 18 July in Lienz, Austria. In an animated 112 kilometre race with many attacks, categorized climbs and a bit of rain, ex-professional cyclist Johnny Hoogerland celebrated his first triumph after previously finishing on the lower podium steps.
1000 participants from 16 nations registered for the race, but only 600 made it to the start due to heavy rainfalls and mudslides that closed the Felbertauern Straße road between Mittersill in the province of Salzburg and Lienz in East Tyrol.
From the start in Lienz, pro MTB rider Simon Stiebjahn attacked and pulled out a small top-class group including multiple MTB world champion Alban Lakata, Simon Schupfer (2019 winner), two-time Ötztal winner Stefan Kirchmair and ex-Tour de France rider Johnny Hoogerland.
Hoogerland rode a tactical race, following wheels and letting others attack and drive the pace until the final kilometre when he stayed alert and timed his sprint perfectly to take the win. Simon Schupfer was second with Alban Lakata third. Stefan Kirchmair came in fourth.
“Every win is great! Two years ago I came second here, today I finally managed to win,” said Hoogerland, who after retiring from the pro peloton runs a breakfast hotel nearby in Carinthia. His winning time of 2:49:01 was just off the course record of 2:47:29 set in 2018.
Hoogerland also won the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Maraton Franja BTC race in June and qualified to participate in the Gran Fondo World Championships taking place in Sarajevo in October – not far from his home in Austria.
In the women’s race, Bianca Sommervila took back-to-back victories, repeating her victory from 2019. She won in 3:18.51, narrowly ahead of 2019 winner Anna Seebacher. Sommervila’s teammate Melanie Amort-Achmüller came in third.
Full Dolomite Bike Tour results HERE.
PHOTOS: Dolomite Bike Tour