The hilly stage of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France is just around the corner, and it's time to take a look at the sections where the race will be decided. Yes, we're talking about the three rated climbs on the course. This year, we've prepared a new challenge for you - a competition for the best climber of the race. The competition partner is Decathlon, which explored the climbs with Decathlon cycling ambassadors Kate Obstová (last year's fastest sprinter at L'Etape) and Ondra Vít, who will introduce you to all the tricky parts of the course's hills.

Hlavni fotka

The first climb is the well-known Podkozí. Last year, we rode it in the opposite direction, so this time we're facing the steep section through the village, preceded by a tricky descent with serpentine turns. The climb's parameters don't look too scary at first glance: 1.31 km in length with an average gradient of 6.3%. However, there are sections over 10%, which can really challenge a cyclist's legs. Additionally, the road surface isn't in the best condition, which could bother many riders.

"This climb is about 20 km from the start. This means that the race will still be in a larger group, which can be used to your advantage when crossing the hill. The key will be to push yourself at the end of the climb to stay in the pack, where you can recover on the flat," says Kate Obstová.

"I agree. I'd recommend not holding back too much here. Yes, there's still a long way to go to the finish, but staying with the group at the end of the climb will definitely pay off, as there's a gentle descent afterwards, where you don't want to be riding alone," adds Ondra Vít.


Around the 40th kilometer comes probably the biggest challenge of this year's route. The hill in the village of Zdejcina has really tough parameters for the Prague area. It is 1.9 km long, with a 150-meter elevation gain and an average gradient of 7.8%. The asphalt isn't the newest, fatigue will be starting to set in, and the entire second half of the climb is on an open plain, where the sharp June sun will be blazing.

"At the end of the climb, there's a small surprise. The road eases up a bit but continues to climb. It's definitely worth not exhausting yourself in the last few meters of the Strava segment because there are still another 10-20 meters of elevation gain," warns Kate. Ondra has some encouraging words: "After the first half of the climb, the road gradient decreases a bit. You can take a short rest, have a drink, and then continue working hard up."


The last climb of the route starts in the village of Nižbor and is 6.25 km long. The average gradient is only 3.4%, but this is influenced by the gentler second half. On the other hand, the first kilometer is quite challenging, with gradients not dropping below 6% and often reaching 10%.

"This hill has definitely the best asphalt of all three rated climbs on the route. Once you enter the forest, after about 2.5 km, the gradient really eases up, and there are even downhill sections. Here, you can catch a slipstream and ride a bit faster. Plus, the forest should be cooler compared to Zdejcina, definitely," thinks Ondra Vít.

"You have to assess your own condition here. At the start, in the steepest part, you can gain a lot but also lose a lot. I can imagine someone attacking here, leaving the group, but then running out of energy due to the length of the climb, and a well-functioning group catching up. But if you feel that today is your day, you can gain a lot of seconds thanks to the length of the climb," concludes Kate Obstová.


We analyzed all three climbs in detail in a video on the Decathlon Czech Republic YouTube channel. Check it out and study what awaits you at the toughest spots on the course!

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