Terezín – A drama up to the finish. This years 43rd edition of the Junior Peace Race offered a very intense and close racing featuring the world best riders in this category, but only one of them could win - Magnus Klaris, who claimed a fourth win for Denmark in a raw, and with this Denmark ties Czechoslovakia which reached this mark in 1989.
The peloton got into the fourth stage with a lot of competitive spirit. Who will be the overall winner? The Dane Magnus Klaris had the same time as the GC leader Rayane Bouhanni from France, whose older brother is currently racing for FDJ on the Giro d'Italia. Bouhanni found himself in a difficult position, hunted by everyone. The decision could come even from a single point from a intermediate sprint. The tension was high on the start in Terezín. On top of it Bouhanni in yellow fell after few kilometers when his wheel lost grip on the wet tarmac in one of the corners. His team members were caught in the crash as well, but despite that they managed to bring him back in the main bunch. It was kind of a duel between Denmark and France for the yellow, they had to watch closely the leaders of the other team. Meanwhile the race went on in a high pace, attack after attack, and the members of the Czech national team did not just sit and watch, they tried some escapes on their own. The strength of the peloton was enormous though, and above all the Danish train was running fast and smooth. „The fact that I won is not only my achievement, but rather a result of a well working team. I could relay on any of the boys. In the national team we are not just riders, we are friends, we know each other, we talk with each other, and that was the key to the victory. A big thanks belongs to the whole team,“ appreciated the Danish system Magnus Klaris.
Not only was the stage hilly, but there were strong gusts of wind, and after all the difficulties and all attempts for escapes the peloton was about to come in the finish town of Terezín in one piece. But then on the flats between Litoměřice and Terezín, in the open the wind played its role and the peloton was split into two. While Bouhanni in yellow was stuck in the second half six seconds behind, Klaris was about to sprint for the win in the first bunch. On the finish line Klaris was beaten by the Patryk Soliński from Poland, but he new he could begin to celebrate. For the French unfortunate split of the peloton and the bonus seconds meant that this years overall winner is Magnus Klaris, having a lead of twelve seconds. „We went into this stage with a clear purpose, winning the race. We were all convinced we can do it. I'm very happy, the Junior Peace Race has a name, it is a prestigious event with a long tradition,“ said the visibly happy Danish racer Klaris.
The winner Klaris was glowing with happiness. And despite the disappointment of the second Bouhanni being clearly visible, on the podium with a gentleman's gesture he admitted that the Dane deserved the victory. The trio of the fastest in the 43rd edition of the race was completed by the third overall, the American William Barta.
The fact that the riders of the host country belong in the world level peloton is clear from the points gained for the UCI ranking. Although none made it to the podium their performance was definitely not a disappointment. Adam Ťoupalík, the team leader, moved up to eleventh place. „I wanted to be in the top ten, but I didn't manage by the smallest margin. The race was hard and the level was high, so I'm not dissapointed. I'm glad we gained points for the UCI ranking. They are important for further races and the wolrd championchip,“ added the best among the Czech riders Adam Ťoupalík.
Results – stage 4. : 1. Patryk Soliński (Poland) 2:29:51, 2. Magnus Klaris (Denmark), 3. Yuri Colonna (Italy), 4. Szymon Sajno (Poland), 5. Renat Udod (Ukraine) – all in the same time, 27. Adam Ťoupalík, 54. Pavel Camrda both +0:06, 84. Marek Šípoš +1:48, 88. Roman Lehký +4:54, 101. Luděk Helis +14:27, 105. Jan Kovář +20:17 (all CZ).
Overall: 1. Magnus Klaris (Denmark) 9:25:15, 2. Rayane Bouhanni (France) +0:12, 3. William Barta (USA) +0:31, 4. Lennard Kämna (Germany) +0:36, 5. Alessandro Fedeli (Italy) +0:43, 11. Adam Ťoupalík (CZ) +1:14, 46. Pavel Camrda +8:05, 66. Roman Lehký +16:04, 70. Marek Šípoš +17:55, 92. Jan Kovář +35:33, 100. Luděk Helis +43:49 (all CZ).