Ponferrada - It is six years now since in Terezin he won for the second time the Junior Peace Race. Now he became the mens elite World Champion. The 24-year old polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski fantastically managed to impose himself on the biggest rainbow jersey adepts and claimed the first World Champion gold medal in cycling for his country.
"Just few days before the elite race I was on my way to manage few things with our riders Štybar and Vakoč when Michal and I met. You can hardly imagine how satisfying is to hear from him that he considers our Junior Peace Race the best event for the juniors in the world. Opinions from riders like him really count and these are the factors that keep us going and further improving the race. Well, and few days later 'Kwiatek' became a World Champion," pointed out the director of the Junior Peace Race Svatopluk Henke.
Kwiatkowski was definitely a huge surprise of the road race in the Spanish town of Ponferrada. There were 254.8 kilometers awaiting the riders of the elite category and on top of it the rain made it even mode difficult. The young Polish made the decisive move in the last, fourteenth circuit. Just 6 kilometers before the finish he attacked from the chasing group and caught up with the leading group of four. In the decent on wet roads he first reached the escapees and in the following climb he gained a bit of time on them. In the last, rather dramatic decent he further extended the gap to an amount which allowed him to start celebrating already several tens of meters before the finish.
Two more riders whom the cycling fans could see in the past in the Junior Peace Race made it in the top ten. John Degenkolb from Germany who finished ninth and who used to race on the roads of Northern Bohemia in 2006. Also the French Nacer Bouhanni, tenth in Ponferrada, was part of the race two years after Degenkolb.
All the members of the Czech national team at this Wolrd Champions have experience from the Junior Peace Race - Petr Vakoč, Zdeněk Štybar and Jan Bárta. The best among the Czech team members was at the end the youngest one. Petr Vakoč finished 29th while he was the fifth youngest rider in the peloton of 203.
In the Juniors race at the World Champions there were seven riders in the top ten who participated in this years edition of the Junior Peace Race, on top of it all the podium positions were claimed by those riders. The winner was Jonas Bokeloh from Germany, followed by Kulikovskiy from Russia and Lenderink from the Netherlands.