Jan Tratnik finished Czech Cycling Tour on the overall podium, while his younger teammate, Michal Schlegel won the youth classification.
Info: 13th of August, Olomouc – Dolany, 157km
Course: undulating, nine 9km laps in the end
How it unfolded
Intermediate sprint which was located with only 5km into the stage, made things really fast right from the gun. As the race for GC was very close, top teams from the overall standings wanted the get bonus seconds and among them there was also CCC Sprandi Polkowice. Jan Tratnik, who sits in 3rd, was unable to make it into the top 3 in this sprint though. Erik Baska (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the win, ahead of yellow jersey wearer, Josef Cerny (Elkov-Author).
The breakaway of the day went on the hardest climbs of the day and it included Juraj Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Marten Kooistra (SEG Racing Academy), Nicola Boem (Bardiani – CSF), Gregor Gazvoda (Adria Mobil), Mads Rahbek (Team Veloconcept), Konrad Tomasiak (Team Hurom), Maximilian Kuen (Tirol Cycling), Martin Boubal (CK Pribram Fany Gastro) and Nordsaeter Resell (Uno-X Hydrogen Development Team).
The leading group never got too much space, as the maximum gap was at 2 minutes. Wilier Triestina and Sangemini – MG.Kvis were making sure that the escape is within the reach, keeping around 1-minute differential. When it was down to 20 seconds Julius Van den Berg (SEG Racing Academy), Michele Gazzara (Sangemini – MG.Kvis) and Kasper Asgreen (Team Veloconcept) bridged across, helping the group bring the advantage up to 1 minute again, but it was not enough to hold off the bunch.
It all came back together inside final 10km and the stage was decided in a mass sprint. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed his second stage win, outsprinting Filippo Fortin (Tirol Cycling Team) and Jannik Steimle (Team Felbermayr – Simplon Wels). Jan Tratnik came in 21st defending his top 3 spot overall. He got onto the podium with the GC winner, Josef Cerny and Jan Barta (Bora-Hansgrohe), who finished 2nd. 13 seconds separated Slovenian and Cerny.
In total five “riders in orange” completed the 4-day event in top 10, as Jan Hirt got 5th, Łukasz Owsian 8th, Michal Schlegel 9th and Felix Grossschartner 10th.
Michal Schlegel also accepted his prize, triumphing in youth classification standings.
Last stage was also the last chance to move up in the GC. We tried at first intermediate sprint, but it didn’t work out. Then we decided to turn our focus towards the final sprint. We attempted to push the pace on the laps, to put some pressure on the sprinters, but the hills were not hard enough to drop them. I also tried to attack myself, on the last climb, but it was not steep enough to create a gap – Jan Tranik said afterwards.
Our team was again very strong and I got all the support I could’ve asked for. I want to thank my teammates, but also staff and sport directors, for their help and hard work.
I’m satisfied with my result, since I hadn’t expected to be in the contention for GC here. I am happy that my form is still at a high level after such a long season