HILLS OF L'ETAPE CZECH REPUBLIC 2022
It's gonna hurt. But nicely, because the Tour de France is the most beautiful race and the pain just has to. Otherwise, it wouldn't be the most prestigious race in the world. And if you register for L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France 2022, you'll be part of the brand of the greatest cycling circus on the planet.
For the upcoming race, for which you can still buy entry fee at a good price, the organizers have made some major changes to the route compared to the premiere. We've covered the entire L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France 2022 and mapped out the key climbs so you have something to look forward to when you buy your entry fee under the Christmas tree.
The first climb on the route. Fifteen hundred metres with an average gradient of 5.5 percent, which will divide the peloton. Everyone in the bunch will be able to ride to this point. But from Mostecký mlýn the road rises subtly and after a sharp right turn the computer will show you a gradient of nine percent. This is where L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France 2022 first bites the legs and splits the field. The reward will be a long descent on new asphalt to Dolní Bezděkov.
2. BREJL-SVATÁ ALŽBĚTA
A hill that was already on the itinerary when the race premiered in the Czech Republic. After the descent from Lány everyone will be full of strength. From the Mouse Hole, at the confluence of the Klíčava and Brejl streams, a sharp climb awaits the racers, when the four hundred metre road has a gradient of eight to nine percent. Then the road straightens out for three hundred metres to reach a two-hundred-metre passage where, for the first time on the computer, a ten per cent gradient appears for a short time. In total, the hill is fifteen hundred metres long with an average of six per cent.
New! After the narrow forest descent to Pustovět, there is a passage under the railway bridge and the climb up the seemingly innocent hill is a real treat. If you study the exit in the Strava app, you'll see that the few metres are a twenty-seven percent gradient. And that's a tough test even for the newly created elite category.
In the romantic serpentines beyond the sign marking the end of the Hermitage, it's time to take a breather, though at irregular intervals the road always climbs a few metres at a double-digit percentage gradient. Unpleasant is the very rough asphalt, on which the bike does not sit and the grip is far from ideal. So by the time you've climbed 1,910 metres with an average gradient of 5.7 per cent, it won't be " for free".
When the magnificent view opens up in front of you after exiting the forest, don't be fooled. After a short ride to Lašovice, there is another climb towards Všetaty, where participants have to climb thirteen hundred metres with an average gradient of five percent. The hill is very regular and quite "rideable", but... Most of the wind is from the west and the whole section is in the open space between the fields. Nothing pleasant awaits for lone riders.
4. KŘIVOKLÁTSKÉ PEKLO
Cyclists will have eighty kilometres in their legs when they arrive under one of the oldest castles in the Czech Republic, which was also inhabited by Charles IV in his youth. It will be the first hill climbing premium on the Long Route. And it will be a tough test. The entire climb is 2230 metres long with an average gradient of 7.2 per cent.
The hardest part comes right at the start. The idyllic view of the overgrown valley is replaced by a cube passage below the castle, 860 metres long with an average gradient of 10.2 per cent, with some sections reaching a gradient of 14.4 per cent.
The large cobblestones are badly torn in some places, certainly not smooth. Catching a rhythm is very difficult. There are deep ruts in places and gaps of several centimetres between the cobbles. In addition, there are asphalt patches in the upper passage behind the pumping station. And when you get out of the cobbles, the "asphalt" roller coaster will trouble you.
The drive to the Chapel of St. Eustach is not so rough, but with the previous dose of "Křivoklát cobblestone spice", the meters do not decrease much. The record in the Strava app is held by former cyclo-crosser Ondřej Bambula, who climbed to the top in 5:58 minutes at an average speed of 22.4 kilometres per hour.
On the premiere of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France, the hill was the first climbing test. During the second edition, it did not have a mountain premium designation, but this did not detract from its difficulty. Especially since the riders will already have ninety kilometres under their belts here.
A total of 2,620 metres uphill with an elevation gain of 148 metres and an average gradient of 5.7 per cent; in the curves after the sign marking the end of Zbečno, cyclists can even "look forward" to short sections with gradients exceeding 20 per cent!
When you come out onto the straight in the village of Sýkořice, you will be far from won. The road will rise again and you will have to deal with gradients of more than ten percent. However, the fastest will be at the top of the poplar tree in under seven minutes.
The arrival to Nizbor is great. A beautiful road winds through the forest past the Skalka grove and the descent past Karel Schwarzenberg's Dřevíč Chateau is a reward. But then comes a very hard test for legs tired from a hundred kilometres.
Before you get to the village above the Berounka River, you have to climb a 640-metre long "stand-up" trail with an average gradient of 7.2 per cent. But while the 2021 debut saw a subsequent descent to the water, which cyclists followed as they climbed to Beroun, this time it will turn left into the forest.
Although the average gradient of the hill to Chyňava, which was part of the short route of the first edition, is only three percent. However, the 6060 metres in total is still only climbing, so everyone will be very happy to swallow the last of the 182 metres of elevation gain and the road will "flip" in the descent to Chyňava.
The cyclists who were present at the start of the premiere know this section well. Just from the opposite side. From Ptice they whizzed down to the villa of the tragically deceased billionaire Kellner. This time it will be the second climbing premium, and it is at the unmissable property that the 2,900-metre climb with an average gradient of 4.4 per cent begins.
The climb to Ptice is already relatively easy. Although, after a giant chunk of kilometres of a race whose profile resembles a carp saw, it's hard to talk about relaxed. Anyway, the worst of the last hard climb awaits you right at the start, when the road rises up a very steep hill, in the steepest passage of which the GPS coordinates indicate a value of 25 percent! But once you've climbed a thousand metres down that hill, the worst of it will be behind you, and no more inclines with double-digit percentage markings.
The race will most likely already be decided under Spirit, another new addition to the itinerary. But if the last hill of the race is reached by groups fighting for the overall ranking or groups of friends competing with each other, it will be an ideal chance to attack.
The Spiritka climb to Atletická Street may only be 570 metres, but it will be painful. Imagine that... There's a huge amount of kilometres in the legs with an equal number of vertical metres. And here, cyclists have to contend with an average gradient of seven percent. It may not seem like it when viewed from a car, but if you look carefully at the map, the steepest passage has a gradient of 18.9 per cent! Simply a finale that you may not even notice. Some from the euphoria of the approaching finish, others from total fatigue.
There are many other small climbs, such as the one to Družka, then from Ploskov towards Lány or the one in Motol. It is simply a challenge in the form of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France 2022, for which you can still buy entry fees at bargain prices (Short route/2290 CZK and Long route/2690 CZK). Once the discounted "packages" are sold out, the price will rise to 2790 CZK and 3190 CZK.
"We are also currently running the Cycling Christmas competition, in which together with our partners we are giving away great cycling prizes - for example a road bike from Harfa Sport or a VIP trip to the Tour de France from Škoda Auto. Everyone who registers or buys a gift voucher by noon on 22 December will be entered into the draw," concludes Novák.
Gift vouchers are available at www.sportprozivot.cz.