Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The day before first Grand Tour of the season starts, junior riders are going to start their own "Grand Tour" four-day, five stage Course de la Paix aka The Peace Race, one of the hardest and most prestigious stage race for juniors and part of the Nations Cup calendar for ten years already running through Czech Republic and Germany.


The first junior edition was held in 1965 and is running every year since 1974. Some of the big names showed their talent in previous editions like Kwiatkowski (who won twice in a row), Kreuziger or Kangert. Last year it was Mads Pedersen who won the race thanks to time trial and solid run on the hardest stages. He also won the final sprinters stage in Terezín showing his incredible versatility. Logan Owen was second and Mathieu Van der Poel finished third.
Final podium from 2013

Course de la Paix 2014 begins with a hilly 98.7km stage starting and finishing in Litomerice featuring two categorised climbs near Murakov. Lasy year Mathieu Van der Poels have beaten Pedersen and Van Hooydonck in sprint for the stage win.


The next day riders will challenge two stages. Morning individual time trial 11.6km long around Třebenice and hilly stage around Roudnice nad Labem with uphill finish on the last few houndred meters in the afternoon.



Last year the Danes dominated the time trial with three riders in top four. Mads Pedersen won the stage ahead of Andreas Holm Gylling and Logan Owen. The afternoon stage ended with a bunch sprint with British duo Germain Burton and Chris Lawless showed their speed and achieved the top two places. Pedersen completed the podium.

The third stage is going to be the hardest one. Riders will cross the border to Germany. The queen stage start in Teplice and end in the German town of Zinwald with two ascents of the 900m Komárí Vížka climb. The stage is going to be 20km longer than last year with two climbs in final 40 kilometer with a total distance of 101.8km. Last year Elie Gesbert won solo ahead of group of top favorities including Tao Hart, Pedersen and Van der Poel.



Elie Gesbert winning solo the Queen stage last year

The final stage of the race will be traditionally run around Terezín city with three climbs on the 99.8km circuit.
Last year on the same route whole peleton came together to the finish line and Mads Pedersen won and sealed his overall victory.


Race as for the category is played in very difficult terrain with climbs at every stage and difficult mountaintop finish on the third stage plus the individual time trial test on the morning of the second day. Adding to the cast of the national teams with the best riders from each country on the start in Litomerice  this is one of the most challenging and prestigious race in this age category. The winner at once can be called the leading rider among juniors.

Startlist
Roadbook
Website

Notable starters:

Adam Toupalik, James Shaw, Matthew Gibson, Yuri Colonna, Lorenzo Fortunato, Igor Decreane, Senne Leysen, Martin Palm, Erlend Blikra, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Mitchel Cornelisse, Magnus Bak Klaris, Lennard Kamna, Aurelien Paret Peintre, Lucas Eriksson.

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