It's going to be a show! At the start of the Czech Tour, the most prestigious stage race in our country, star cyclist Chris Froome of the Israel - Premier Tech team, three World Tour teams, and the Czech elite will appear. Fans can see them race from 27th to 30th July, mainly in the Olomouc and Moravian-Silesian regions. The cyclists face a total climb of nearly 11,500 altitude metres over four days. There is also an extensive accompanying program prepared for spectators.
Chris Froome and a packed starting list
“I'm really looking forward to racing in the Czech Republic for the first time, specifically in the Czech Tour. It's great to meet my former team-mate Leo König, who won the Tour de France with me in 2015 while we were at Sky, and to see the race he now manages. I've had a good training block and am ready to start the second part of the season,” says Chris Froome.
The Czech roads will also be graced by three World Tour teams: Jumbo-Visma, BORA - hansgrohe, and Intermarché - Circus - Wanty. “We promise attractive cycling of the highest quality. The packed starting list guarantees a great spectacle,” says Leopold König, director of the Czech Tour. Estonian Rein Taaramäe will demonstrate his skills for Intermarché - Circus - Wanty, an eighteen-time participant of Grand Tours and a double stage winner at the Vuelta a España.
Participation has been confirmed by Karel Vacek (Corratec Selle Italia) who finished second in the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia this year. The entries also include top teams from the second highest division, including Uno-X, a participant in this year's Tour de France. The best Czech teams Elkov - Kasper and ATT Investments will not be missing either.
Four tough days, twice up Dlouhé stráně on the Queen Stage
The opening stage starts in Prostějov and ends nearly 170 kilometres later in Uničov. Riders will cover 2,217 altitude metres, and a bunch sprint is expected.
A day later, the peloton will face 167 kilometres from Horní náměstí in Olomouc, finishing at Pustevny. Cyclists will conquer 2,840 altitude metres. “All the contenders for the overall ranking must be extremely careful not to end their dream prematurely on a tough climb,” König notes.
The third stage will start in Moravská Třebová, the birthplace of Leo König. The Queen Stage planned for 29th July is 161.5 kilometres long and will be a tough test for all climbers. A total of 3,404 altitude metres will be tackled. The Dlouhé stráně climb will be ridden twice, and the organisers have prepared the finish as a climb to Červenohorské sedlo. The race could be decided here.
The finale will come in the stage from Šumperk to Šternberk. Cyclists will have to cover 2,982 altitude metres during the 176.2 kilometres. The circuits in Šternberk are unpredictable and could still cause changes in the final order.
New name, higher ambitions
The general partner remains the SAZKA company, which the race used to bear in its name. The Czech Tour is also part of the Europe Tour series in 2023.
“Cycling is by far the most popular sport in the Czech Republic and we believe that the Czech Tour has the potential to become the most famous sporting event associated with the Czech Republic, which the whole country will be proud of,” says Petr Jonák, director of external relations and sustainability at Sazka, adding: "We have big plans with the race. To date it has taken place in the Jeseníky and Beskydy, but in the coming years we want to use the potential of the whole country with the organisers. For the next year, we are also planning hobby races and attracting the widest possible range of enthusiasts. The accompanying program for the public will also grow."
Attractive accompanying program for the whole family
At the start of each stage, fans can see the team introductions, and an attractive program is always prepared at the finish. Bands will play every day, and official merchandising will be for sale.
At the weekend, visitors can look forward to adrenaline sports demonstrations, such as slackline or BMX riding on the Sazka Pump Track, built by Jan Valenta, a three-time world champion in freestyle BMX.
The best of cycling can also be experienced in Prague. Pelotonie, a sales exhibition of the best cycling photos not only from the Czech Tour, but also from the Tour de France and other elite races, continues in Prague's Bořislavka. The proceeds are donated to charitable causes.
Czech Tour 2023 Program
1st stage - 27th July: Prostějov (T. G. Masaryka Square) - Uničov (Hrdinů Street) 165 km / 2,217 altitude metres
2nd stage - 28th July: Olomouc (Horní Square) - Pustevny, 166.9 km / 2,840 altitude metres
3rd stage - 29th July: Moravská Třebová (T. G. Masaryka Square) - Červenohorské sedlo, 161.5 km / 3,404 altitude metres
4th stage - 30th July: Šumperk (Nám. míru) - Šternberk (Radniční), 176.2 km / 2,982 altitude metres
Czech Television will broadcast a summary of each stage every day.
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General partner: Sazka / Main partner: MND, National Sports Agency / Partners: Crystal Bohemia, Best of British cars Ostrava, ACE sport, Prim / Media partners: Livesport, Frekvence 1 /
Supported by: Olomouc Region, Moravian-Silesian Region, Uničov, Prostějov, Olomouc, Moravská Třebová, Šumperk, Šternberk, Czech Cycling Federation / Suppliers: Radioking, Mcard, Nespresso, Šafář & Partners.
The event was made possible by the company Forests of the Czech Republic.