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Roman Kreuziger became the Czech champion and Juraj Sagan took the Slovak honours as Tinkoff riders took a combined Czech-Slovak championship road race by storm on Sunday.
Kreuziger, a 30-year-old Tinkoff rider, won the 185km race in the southeastern Czech town of Kyjov in 4 hours 45 minutes and 17 seconds to gain his first-ever Czech title. Zdenek Stybar took the silver four seconds behind Kreuziger, while Martin Hunal came third.
“I was a little afraid of Zdenek, he’s of course a great rider,” said Kreuziger. “But my legs felt good, just like they should have,” he added.
Kreuziger will skip the Olympics as he has decided to prioritise the Tour de France and Tour of Spain.
The 27-year-old Juraj Sagan picked his first Slovak title ahead of his younger brother and Tinkoff teammate Peter, the reigning world champion and defending Slovak champion.
Michael Kolar, another Tinkoff rider, took the Slovak bronze. “I’m happy for the team, Roman Kreuziger is the Czech champion and I have the Slovak title,” Juraj Sagan said after the race, praising help from his brother who has so far won five Slovak titles. “He wasn’t exactly my domestique, but he helped me a lot.
We always seek to defend the title and we always do it so that one of us would win,” added Juraj Sagan.
1. Roman Kreuziger 4hrs 45mins 17sec
2. Zdenek Stybar at 4sec
3. Martin Hunal at 52
1. Juraj Sagan 4hrs 45min 21sec
2. Peter Sagan at 41sec
3. Michael Kolar 2min 46sec