Jan Hirt in seventeenth place was the best of the Czech riders on Sazka Tour stage two, which covered 189 kilometres from Olomouce to Pustevny. The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert rider helped his colleague, Lorenzo Rota of Italy, to victory; another Italian, Domenico Pozzovivo, supported the team's success with third place. The yellow jersey of the best rider in the standings was taken by today's winner, Rota.
Just after the start, a small group of cyclists broke away from the main peloton. There was no one from the Czech team in it, but the five-member group created a lead of more than six minutes at one point and kept it almost until the final climb. There, however, they were absorbed by the peloton and the final climb up Pustevny mixed up the order.
Hirt was very active, supporting his teammates in the break away, but it was not enough in the end. “I wanted to be a bit higher up the order, but today was a lot about teamwork. It's great that we have a winner and another rider in third place," said Hirt. "The tactic before the race was that I would go after the guys; Rota was very active and finally made it to the end. I'm happy, we're doing well as a team, that's the main thing," he said.
On Saturday, the riders will face the “queen stage” from Moravská Třebová to Dlouhé stráně, which will be climbed twice. The riders climb a total of 2,730 metres, mostly in the second half of the 150-kilometer long stage. "It will be challenging, but we will not go defensive, we will definitely want to win again as a team and keep the yellow jersey, I also want to be much further up. And we still need test out second place on the podium," said Hirt with a smile. Next year he will be riding for the top Quick Step team.