4.–7. 8. 2022
UCI Europe Tour

Kukrle finishes third on the first stage, which was won by Herregodts of Belgium

Aug 4, 2022

Michael Kukrle stood on the podium today after the first stage of the prestigious Sazka Tour cycling road race. This opening stage went from Uničov to Prostějov and covered a distance of 181.5 kilometres. The rider from the Elkov-Kasper team took third place in the final sprint of a group of five, which narrowly dragged the breakaway to the finish line. Belgian Rune Herregodts won ahead of his compatriot, Johan Meens. The biggest Czech star of the race, Jan Hirt, finished in 76th place in the main peloton. 

Kukrle, who participated in the Tokyo Olympics, was part of the group that broke away after the start and built up a lead that, somewhat surprisingly, held until the finish. "I knew it would be difficult, it was up and down, but I wanted to try and win the stage, even though I thought I didn't have much chance of success," said Kukrle. "And when we reached the finish line, I didn't manage to win, so I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out," said Kukrle. 

The second Czech in the breakaway group, Jan Kašpar, was fourth after losing fight with Kukrle. The young sprinter Pavel Bittner finished in the top ten in eighth place. "Tomorrow it will change, today's lead won't play a role, we won't figure in the overall standings," guessed Kukrle, who similarly broke away from the peloton at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. "But today it was so painful, I was sick a month ago, and I'm still not in ideal shape. With Kuba Otruba we will ride tomorrow for Honza Bárta and see how it goes," he said.

The second stage starts on Friday from the Horní náměstí in Olomouc and will end at the well-known summit of Pustevny, which the cyclists will actually climb twice during the stage. They will cover a total of 189.3 kilometres and climb 2910 meters of altitude, which will definitely shake up the standings. 

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