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After a dominant performance by Tinkoff, Kreuziger and Juraj Sagan took the titles in the joint Czech and Slovakian Championships; Peter and Kolar made it a clean sweep for the team in Slovakia

Photo: Tinkoff

JURAJ SAGAN

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NATIONAL CHAMPIONSSHIPS

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PETER SAGAN

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ROMAN KREUZIGER

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ZDENEK STYBAR

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26.06.2016 @ 21:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff demolished the opposition in the joint Czech-Slovakian road race championships as Roman Kreuziger won the Czech title and Juraj Sagan, Peter Sagan and Michael Kolar made it a clean sweep of the Slovakian podium. Kreuziger and the Sagan brothers escaped with the Czech pair of Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) and Martin Hunal (Whirlpool) and after Peter had emptied himself, Kreuziger, Juraj and Stybar rode away before the former made a late move to cross the line in solo fashion.

 

With three Slovakians and one Czech rider, Tinkoff delivered a show at the Czech and Slovakian road race championships which were held in the usual fashion as one race. Using their strength in number and a huge team effort from world champion Peter Sagan, the team managed to take the Czech title with Roman Kreuziger and the Slovakian title with Peter's brother Juraj.

 

After Erik Baska and Michael Kolar had bee in the early break, the Tinkoff team played with the muscles when Peter Sagan, Kreuziger, Martin Hunal and Zdenek Stybar attacked. Peter decided to work for his brother and so dropped back to bring him across before emptying himself to make the group stay away. In the end, Kreuziger dropped Stybar and Juraj to take a solo win and the Czech champin's jersey while Juraj, Peter and Kolar made it three Tinkoff riders in the top 3.

 

The race was held on a tough circuit in Kyjov that the riders had to cover 9 times for an overall distance of 185km. It included two 2km climbs and a flat finish.

 

After the early attacks, a seven-rider group with Czech riders Vojtech (Sparta Praha), Nežerka (Lawi-Author), Swaczyna (CK Feso Petřvald), Boubal (CK Pribram Gastro Fany) and Kovar (Whirlpool-Author) and the Slovakian Tinkoff pair of Erik Baska, Michal Kolar escaped. Behind, there were constant attacks, with Kreuziger being particularly active. However, the peloton ended the first lap one minute behind the leaders and they were 1.20 behind after the second lap. At this point, only 40 riders had survived.

 

The peloton slowed down and as a regrouping took place, the gap went out to more than six minutes at the end of the third lap. With 80km to go, the first raindrops fell but that didn’t animate the race. At the beginning of the sixth lap, the gap was still 5.50.
 
Klein Constantia did the work in the peloton, working for Zdenek Stybar and Petr Vakoc as they are the Etixx-QuickStep feeder team. With three laps to go, they had reduced the gap to 4.50 lead refugees. 
 , 
In the seventh lap, the front group splut up as Kovar, Baska and Kolar rode away. At the beginning of the penultimate lap , they led Vojtěch and Boubal by 75 seconds while the peloton was 3.40 behind.

 
As they hit the first climb, Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) increased the pace before Leopold König (Sky) got a small gap oer the top. When he was caught, Juraj Sagan, Thomas Bucháček and Josef Cerny made a move but they were also brought back.
 
At the end of the penultimate lap, Kreuziger, Peter Sagan, Stybar and Martin Hunal got away and trailed the leaders by 20 seconds. Peter Sagan then waited for his brother Juraj and helped him to rejoin this group. They soon caught Kolar , Baska and Kovář, meaning that Tinkoff had five riders in an 8-rider group.

The earlier front trio could not keep the pace, leaving only the Sagan brothers, Kreuziger, Stybar and Hunal in the lead. Behind, a small group with the likes of König, Vakoč and Bárta gathered after they had caught the original breakaway.
 
Peter emptied himself for Juraj and then was unable to follow when Stybar, Kreuziger and Juraj escaped. They worked well together to stay away.

 

On a small climb with less than 3km to go, Kreuziger attacked from the front and Stybar was unable to hold his wheel. The Tinkoff Czech soloed to victory while Stybar crossed the line in second followed by Juraj Sagan who took the Slovakian title. Peter Sagan was next to reach the finish to claim the Slovakian silver medal before Hunal reached the line to take the Czech bronze. Later Kolar and Marek Canecky (Amplatz) sprinted for the Slovakian bronze medal and it was the Tinkoff rider who came out on top, making it a Tinkoff clean sweep of the podium.

 

While Kreuziger will wear his new jersey at the Tour de France, it is still uncertain when Sagan will get his debut in his new tunic.

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