Jan Tratnik just missed out on the win on stage 2 of Czech Cycling Tour, as he finished 2nd, only behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe). Slovenian’s performance resulted into moving up to 2nd overall.
Info: 11th of August, Olomouc – Frydek-Mistek, 202,4km
How it unfolded
With an uphill start it was quite a challenge to get into the breakaway. Those who managed to go clear were Daniel Lehner (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels), Kasper Asgreen (Team Veloconcept), Andrij Vasylyuk (Kolss Cycling Team) and Niccolo Salvietti (Sangemini – MG.Kvis).
Asgreen wasn’t able to keep up with his companions and got dropped early. The leading trio kept a steady pace, but was pulled back in with 36km to go, just before the last intermediate sprint in Frydek Mistek, where also finish line was at. Jan Tratnik took advantage of that fact and took 2nd, gaining 2 bonus seconds.
Another move involved Michael Kukrle (Elkov – Author Cycling Team) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), but they got reeled back in as well.
It was all decided in a mass finish, but it was not an usual sprint. The very finale was gently uphill and cobbled. The “orange squad” was very attentive late in the race and made sure that Tratnik is perfectly positioned. He materialized their lead out taking 2nd place at the line, only behind Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).
After Tour de Pologne I was very tired, completely empty. I went to the European Championships straight away and afterwards I took three days off. I got some rest and it paid off, since I started Czech Cycling Tour fresh. I felt strong during the team time trial and I was looking forward to today, since the finish suited me. I had even told my girlfriend that I will be fighting for the win – Jan Tratnik explained.
My teammates took care of me throughout the entire stage and led me out perfectly in the end. They deserve a lot of credit and I want to thank them for their help. It was nice to see how well organized we were.
I made a small mistake with 500m to go, since I found myself already at the front of the group. I lost some momentum, as I had to wait for somebody else to start the sprint. Eventually I was beaten by Sam Bennett, but we all know how fast rider he is.