INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Sazka Tour

Back-to-back podium finishes for Taaramäe


The third stage at the Sazka Tour (2.1, 5-8/8) started with a long warm up until a trio of categorized climbs. An early breakaway of five riders made use of it by building an advantage of 2’30. Just like the days before, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux lead the chase with Alexander Evans and Jérémy Bellicaud until only 26 riders were remaining in the peloton after the three successive climbs. The long downhill gave the dropped riders the opportunity to come back, so the final climb (9.7km at 6.7%) was again decisive for the stage win. The Norwegian rider Tobias Halland Johannessen took the victory ahead of new race leader Filippo Zana and Rein Taaramäe. The Estonian rider finishes on the same step of the podium for a second day in a row and stays also in 3rd position in the provisional general classification. 

We perform really well as a team here, but a victory is missing. We were close each time, so I'm confident that we've got a good chance on the stage win or on an improvement of Rein's GC. I hoped to perform better myself at my national tour, but my victory on this parcours in 2014 gives me an extra motivation for tomorrow. This is a traditional stage of the Czech Tour, so everybody knows that another hard day in the saddle is awaiting. My place of birth is only 100 kilometer away, but as I'm staying most of the year in Andorra it is nice to see so many familiar faces. My family and friends will encourage te team again tomorrow, both Alexander and Jérémy who usually ride at the front of the peloton and the other guys who will fight for the stage win!

The Sunday stage between Sumperk and Sternberk contains nine categorized climbs, divided between the beginning and the end of the stage. Longer climbs have to be covered during the first two race hours, in contrary to a steep and short climb of 900 meter on the final circuit. The 174 kilometer final stage ends with four of these 7 kilometer laps. The Czech rider Jan Hirt, 7th in the stage and 7th in the provisional classification, is a former stage winner in Sternberk (2014).


Photo: Sazka Tour

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