CCC Sprandi Polkowice opened Czech Cycling Tour with second place in the team time trial.
The Czech stage-event kicked off with 17,3-kilometer TTT around Frydek-Mistek. The course was undulating, with the turnaround at halfway point and slightly harder second part of competition.
“Orange team” was represented by Victor de la Parte, Felix Grossschartner, Davide Rebellin, Jan Hirt, Nikolay Mihaylov, Josef Cerny, Branislau Samoilau and Sylwester Szmyd. They rolled down the start ramp as one of the last teams.
Near the halfway, at the check point, CCC Sprandi Polkowice recorded second best time, only behind Klein Consantina. The “riders in orange” covered the second part of the route even faster and checked in at the finish with the fastest result. At that point there were still 4 teams on the course Gazprom-RusVelo, Wallonie – Bruxelles and two UCI WorldTour squads, Cannondale-Drapac and Lampre-Merida.
Only one of them was able to beat the time set by the Polkowice-based team – Cannondale-Drapac. Mihaylov, Hirt, Cerny and Szmyd sacrificed for their leaders, giving it all on the road. They were unable to stay with the group all the way to the end, but helped De la Parte, Grossschartner, Rebellin and Samoilau take second place, only 11 seconds down on the winners.
Klein Constantina claimed third place (15 seconds back).
The course was very hard, especially the second part of it and it was not easy to stay in the group. After the halfway point everyone was going full gas and we couldn’t wait for anyone, because we would have lost very valuable seconds. The plan was to go at the stable, but very strong pace and we did that. Now we are in pretty comfortable position, with few of our leaders sitting high in the standings. They are all in good shape and the next days will show who will have the biggest chances of taking the overall win. Stage 3 seems to be the most decisive one, but time gaps may occur also on other days, on cross winds or after some unexpected attacks. We have to stay focused and be ready for that – sporting director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Sławomir Błaszczyk explains.