Johannes Staune-Mittet of Norway from the Jumbo-Visma team won the queen (third) stage of the Czech Tour, which led from Moravská Třebová to Červenohorské sedlo. The riders had to climb a total of 3,404 metres over a distance of 161.5 kilometres, thanks to two climbs on Dlouhé stráně. He made sure of victory on the final hill, but the German Florian Lipowitz from the Bora-Hansgrohe team arrived two seconds behind him and remained in the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Eighth at the finish today was the best Czech Jakub Otruba.
Twenty kilometres from the start, a group of five broke away, including four Czechs - Michal Kukrle, Daniel Turek, Michael Boroš and Tomáš Kalojíros. The group stayed in the lead for a long time, at one point leading by almost seven and a half minutes. The whole peloton started to break up on the first climb up Dlouhé stráně, the first descent they still went down between the first Kukrle and Boroš, but the second descent of the most difficult of hills mixed up the peloton. The Jumbo-Visma team was very active, setting a formidable pace, thanks to which, their first competitor reached the finish line.
"I'm really very tired, on the second climb we pushed a lot and gained some lead, at the end we were already fighting together with Florian, he was extremely strong. Even though I gave it my best, I couldn't outrun him. It was mainly a mental battle at the end," said today's winner, who was third on the Czech Tour in last year's Dlouhé stráně stage. "Although I didn't win the yellow jersey, it’s my first professional victory. Only one more day, no time to think of anything else, I want to win," he declared.
Jakub Otruba also benefited from the pace of the Jumbo team. As the best Czech, he repeated Friday's eighth place in the stage and is fifth overall with a loss of two seconds. "From the first foray into Dlouhé stráně, the pace was high and it held until the finish line," said Otruba. On the first climb he was still in the leading group, on the second he already bet on his own pace. It turned out that the eighth place probably belongs to me here," he smiled. "Tomorrow is also a very difficult stage, something can still be gained there. It is a great motivation for me to try to move up the grades," he added.