Bora Hansgrohe and Jumbo Visma! Two elite World Tour teams have confirmed their participation in the Sazka Tour 2023, the most prestigious domestic stage race for road cycling. Other elite teams from the top division are also in negotiations, and seven Pro Continental teams have confirmed their participation, with other leading teams in play.
“Two great World Tour teams have confirmed. Discussions with others are ongoing. It is clear that we will have to wait. One or two starting slots will be kept open until the last minute because we don’t want to close the doors to any World Tour team,“ says Leopold König, Race Director of Sazka Tour.
A number of teams at the start will be from the Pro Continental Division. "We have signed seven teams," says the ex-racer, whose name and achievements on the most prestigious races help significantly in negotiations.
There may be a lot of Czechs at the start
Fans of the Sazka Tour can therefore look forward to the teams Corratec, Caja Rural Seguros RGA, EOLO Kometa, Flanders-Baloise, Novo Nordisk, UnoX Pro, and Bolton Equities Black Spoke. “Discussions are still ongoing with Equipo Kern Pharma and Burgos BH,” disclosed König.
“I think that the starting list will be very attractive with respect to the participation of Czech riders,” said König. Italian team Corratec has Karla Vacka on its books, Daniel Babor, Tomáš Bárta and Michal Schlegel race in the colours of Spanish team Caja Rural, Matyáš Kopecký rides for Novo Nordisk and Vojtěch Řepa is on the Equipo Kern team roster. Norwegian team UnoX has already confirmed participation in the Tour de France 2023.
The Sazka Tour will run at a new time this year. The first week right after the greatest stage race in the world. Why has it moved by a week? “I wanted to try this date because the next few weeks in the cycling calendar are busy. The Burgos and Arctic take place. The Sazka Tour is attended by people who drop out of the Tour de France in the first two weeks, or cyclists who have competed in the Giro and need to prepare for the Vuelta. I am curious how this change of date will play out,“ says Leopold König, commenting on the final starting list for the Sazka Tour.
Fans will be attracted by the potential route alterations. "Nothing has been finalised yet. Everything is put together in line with the permits and the overall race concept. It's still true that we want a flatter profile at the start and the race with a gradually increasing gradient profile as the race progresses," explains Leopold König.
The Sazka Tour has been run since 2009, and since the 2017 season, when Josef Černý celebrated the overall victory, it has been waiting for a Czech winner. This year it will be held from 27th to 30th July.