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Král in Štětí reigned supreme

Roudnice n. L./Stětí - Czech representative Kryštof Král dominated the 2nd stage of the 51st stage. 51st Junior Peace Race. One of the fastest men in Europe won the mass sprint at the finish in Štětí, leaving the Danish pair of Philipsen and Storm behind. The finish was marred by a nasty crash.           "The first stage didn't go so well for me. Even though I was confident, I didn't feel good, so I made up for it today and I hope that I have confirmed the claim that I am really one of the fastest not only in Europe, but also in the world," smiled Czech representative Kryštof Král, who dominated Friday afternoon's stage of the second day of the Junior Peace Race to the delight of the home cycling fans.

            In the morning, the cyclists had to deal first with the individual time trial in Třebívlice. In the afternoon, they had the traditional flat test in Roudnice. The sixty-kilometre stage started in Roudnice nad Labem and ended with a mass finish in Štětí. The final spurt was hit by a mass crash. "Today it was very much about positional riding. Especially before every bridge there were terrible bombs. It made the whole stage quite dangerous. In the last ten kilometres it was necessary to be in the top ten," pointed out the victorious Czech, while describing what decided his fantastic victory. "I believed that it could work out with about four hundred metres to go at the last roundabout. At one hundred and fifty, I was already sucking on the second lap and I knew I could get the win. It was an incredibly chaotic finish and it could have easily fallen every metre, luckily it was behind me," said a relieved King, who crossed the line with a premeditated gesture. "That was my dream finish. I always wanted to do it, but in the end I just screamed like crazy. But today I had so much time that I did it," King said, adding that the raised index finger over his mouth and nose was inspired by last year's Spanish Vuelta winner and former Junior Peace Race winner Remco Evenepoel.

The Czech rider was accompanied on the ceremonial podium in Štětí by two Danish representatives - the second Albert Philipsen and the third Theodor Storm. Norwegian Jorgen Nordhagen, who came in the main field, remains in yellow. "It was a quiet stage, but otherwise quite hectic, so I tried to stay ahead. With three kilometres to go I was still in the top five to avoid the crash that really came in the end. But I was in a safe position, everything happened behind me and I can still control the yellow jersey," said the leader of the intermediate classification with icy calmness at the finish.

            Saturday's "royal" stage with the start in Teplice and the finish in Olbernhau, Germany, lies ahead. There are three climbing premiums on the one hundred and seventeen difficult kilometres - in Cínovec, Mníšek and Seiffen. "It's going to be tough tomorrow, so let's fight," is strongly motivated leader rider Jorgen Nordhagen to keep the yellow jersey of the race leader.          

Results - Stage 2b (Roudnice n. L. - Štětí, 61.4 km):
1. Kryštof Král (CZE) 1:20:57
2. Albert Philipsen (DEN)
3. Theodor Strom (DEN)
4. Patrick Frydkjar (DEN)
5. Matys Grisel (FRA) - all equal time
1. Jorgen Nordhagen (NOR) 4:00:51
2. Andrew August (USA) +0:15
3. Mees Vlot (NED) +0:46
4. Paul Fietzke (GER) +0:46
5. Ian Kings (GER) +0:48
11. Pavel Šumpík (CZE) +1:02

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