Florian Lipowitz, of Germany, riding for the Bora-hansgrohe team, is the winner of the Czech Tour 2023. The 22-year-old finished third in Sunday's final stage from Šumperk to Šternberk, following on from second in Saturday's queen stage and his victory in Friday's stage ending in Pustevny. The winner of Sunday's stage was the Czech rider Adam Ťoupalík of the Elkov-Kasper team.
"It's great; a dream come true. My team did a great job for me today, and although it was a brutal race from the start, the guys made the stage as easy as possible for me," said Florian Lipowitz, who celebrated his first professional stage race overall victory at the Czech Tour.
He was classified fifty-fifth in the opening stage of the Czech Tour 2023 with a mass finish in Uničov,. A day later, however, he wore the race leader's yellow jersey when he dominated the stage to Pustevny in a close finish. In Saturday's queen stage, the German rider of Bora-hansgrohe came second, so in the overall standings he could only really be threatened by Johannes Staune-Mittet, who had won Saturday's tough stage that finished on Červenohorské sedlo. However, the young Norwegian from the Jumbo-Visma team was not well enough to participate in Sunday's stage.
"I felt great for the four days. I had really good legs. Saturday's stage was super hard and it was not easy to recover. In addition, the start of Sunday's stage was very hectic, but I had a great team working with me. The boys helped me and the yellow jersey is thanks to them," said Florian Lipowitz, paying credit to his teammates.
In the sprint over the cobbles in Šternberk, he finished third when he crossed the line behind teammate Ben Zwiehoff, who sprinted to silver, and Adam Ťoupalík, who was victorious. "It would be nice to finish with a victory, but I can't be disappointed when I finished in the yellow jersey of the overall winner," smiled the Czech Tour 2023 champion.
Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Ťoupalík snatched victory in the final stage after a dramatic sprint. He flew across the line with total concentration and did not slow down after crossing the line.
"I wasn't sure if it was really over. The referees were ringing the bell for one more lap, I couldn't hear the commentator, so I preferred to keep pedalling with all my strength. Okay, I won't have a nice winning photo, but I have already been caught out once, so I preferred to keep pedalling," said the twenty-seven-year-old Ťoupalík with a smile. In 2016 at the World Cyclocross Championship in Tábor he sprinted a lap too soon.
"Twice I was third here in Šternberk. I had a lot of confidence in myself. I wanted at least a podium, and my legs felt good. It turned out great," said Adam Ťoupalík enthusiastically after his triumph in the final stage of the Czech Tour 2023.