Terezín – Exactly one week is left before the start of the international cycling race, the Couse de la Paix Juniors (8. - 11. 5.). The best among the wold junior racers will compete in northern Bohemia in the 43rd edition of the race for one of the currently most prestigious yellow jerseys in the world for this age category. There is almost four hundred kilometers awaiting the racers and precious points for the Nations Cup at the end.
„Every year it is increasingly difficult to ensure the race will be organized with the full schedule. We will continue in its four day format to ensure the race will keep its high level which we managed to reach trough the past years. We are pleased by how highly the race is regarded and this year we will do our best to maintain the image of the race as the best organized juniors event in the world,“ said the race director Svatopluk Henke.
The first pedal stroke for the participants will be on Thursday the 8th of May. The opening ceremonial will be held on the Peace square (Mírové náměstí) in the town of Litoměřice also where about two and half hours later will be the first finish and stage winers decoration for this year. On Friday the racers will have to face two challenges. First the time trial in Třebenice before noon and the Roudnice stage in the afternoon. „The start will be traditionally on the Karls square (Karlovo náměstí) and the finish again on the Masarik Avenue (Masarykova třída) where the race managed to gain some attractivity. There will be an intermediate sprint for the point classification in Hoštka as well,“ added Henke.
On Saturday the racers will cross the border to Germany. This difficult mountain stage with start in Teplice and a finish in the German town of Zinwald is rightfully labeled as the "queen stage". During the stage the juniors will climb the Komáří Vížka twice and there are also two intermediate sprints scheduled in Duchcov and Dubí. "We stretched the Teplice stage a bit and it became the hardest and with its 101 kilometers also the longest test of the participants form," said Henke.
The four day long battle for the yellow jersey will be concluded traditionally in Terezin. Three years ago the organizers modified the final stage, they steered the peloton away from the climbs to Kamýk and Sebuzín onto a new circuit around Ploskovice, Maškovice a Třebušín. "This stretch became popular among the racers and the spectators for it is nearby the race headquarters, yet very quiet and beautiful. Particulary attractive is the track above Pohořany,“ pointed out Svatopluk Henke. He also expressed his gratitude to the Police of the Czech Republic, which this year again participated in the race organization. "We owe huge thanks to the police. In participation with them we select the routes for the stages so, that they can be very interesting and at the same time ensuring the are covered as good as possible in terms of safety. In addition, the route for this years edition of the race is fully on newly repaired streets, so the roads awaiting the racers are what every cyclist dreams of. This is also crucial factor for the safety.,“ as pointed out by the race director Henke.
The "piece race" (" Couse de la Paix Juniors") is again held as part of the Juniors Nations´ Cup, the highest level of competition for the Junior cyclists. The race is one of the five multistage events in the competition. This means the worlds best juniors will come to race in the Czech Republic. There are 26 teams on the starting list, six members each. "If there is no last minute change, this will be the most numerous peloton in the last twelve years," added the races press agent Patrik Pátek and mentioned that the spectators will have the chance to spot some future "big stars" of the mens elite peloton. "Remember for instance Peter Sagan, Fabien Cancelara or the czechs Kreuziger and König, which these days are among the most famous cyclists on the planet. Already now there is a duo of acting world champions among the participants,“ said Patrik Pátek.
For the first time in the race history the national teams of Algeria and Israel will take part. For the favorites for the GC one should look again among the Danes, the French and the Russians. „How will the cyclists of the organizing country perform? Lets see, may be they will surprise us. If some of them makes it in the top ten I will be satisfied. For instance Ťoupalík or Camrda can pull out some surprise, they were in this race last year and they gained some experience in the international peloton sine then,“ concluded Svatopluk Henke.