New hills gave L'Etape Czech Republic 2024 a spark
A revolution that promises an extremely action-packed plot! If the L'Etape Czech Republic route was routine for some, the 2024 edition will blow it to smithereens. In the exact spirit of the Old Lady, the organisers have included four new summits when putting together the route of the hilly stage. In addition to the traditional Prague climbs, there will be other new climbs, and there are many untrodden sections on the route, which give the biggest domestic race for hobby cyclists a lot of pizzazz! The hilly stage will offer a good portion of vertical metres with the famous hills of the Central Bohemian Region! Some are returning after a long break, others are on the itinerary for the very first time. The long, hilly route of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France scheduled for 15 June 2024 measures 130.9 kilometres and includes 1,917 vertical metres. The middle route is 105.7 kilometres long and cyclists will have to climb 1,407 vertical metres. The short L'Etape Czech Republic route will cover 60.3 kilometres and 695 vertical metres. What are the key hills of the race?
Podkozí - climbing bonuses (all routes)
Participants of the first edition of L'Etape Czech Republic will remember that the first climb, where the peloton was divided, was the climb from the villa of billionaire Kellner towards Podkozí. The 1,310-metre climb has an average gradient of 6.3 per cent. It was here that Zuzana Boháčová set the fastest time in August 2021, during the debut of the race under the patronage of A.S.O. on Czech territory. She climbed the hill in 3:38 minutes. Ondřej Cink, who a few months earlier in training was thirty-seven seconds faster, reigns supreme in the statistics of the popular Strava app for men.
Zdejcina - climbing premium (Long and Middle route)
The renowned "stand-up climb" is 1880 metres long, where cyclists have to climb 149 vertical metres. The big battle will undoubtedly take place before the uphill climb, because the road from Stradonice is very narrow. The average gradient of the hill is 7.8 percent! The beginning of the climb, which has earned the name Passo di Strada Zdejcina because of the number of curves, is gradual. But already before the second chicane the gradient picks up and flies over ten percent. At the hardest point, the computer will even show you 18.5 percent! It's only a few metres, of course, but this just hurts. Plus, the slope won't go below five percent! After seven hundred metres, there's a break for a few moments. A few dozen metres are relatively favourable. There will be room to calm your heart rate and catch your breath. Everyone will be back in the red very quickly! The second half of the Passo di Strada Zdejcina bites mercilessly into your legs as the gradient varies from three percent to 14.9! The fastest time of the segment in the Strava app is once again held by biker and former Team Bahrain road cyclist Ondrej Cink. He reached the summit in May 2021 in 5 minutes and 6 seconds at an average speed of 22.4 kilometres per hour. The women's statistics are dominated by Magdalena Čípová, who climbed Zdejcina in 7:17 minutes in June 2017.
Hudlice (Long route only)
Another new hill on the route! It will be a real shock for the uninitiated... It is only 800 metres, but with an average gradient of 8.5 percent! Usually in the high season Hudlice is crowded, because in the middle of the hill on the right side there is a monument to Josef Jungmann, the creator of modern Czech language. This time, however, no one will have a thought for linguistics and Jungmann's poetry. A rough gradient of around ten percent most of the time will be a real test for all legs in the peloton. The treat then awaits exactly in the middle of the hill: from the Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk, the hill grades at a gradient that is in double digits in percentages and starts with a two! Once you're past the village, the road straightens out slightly, but towards Kublov to the crossroads at Zelené Kříž, the peloton will climb another 4400 metres, although it will climb "only" 84 metres.
Roztoky (Long route only)
Third news in short succession. When the peloton crosses Broumy, it will have to deal with a 2600-metre climb to Karlov at an average gradient of 2.6 percent, followed by another 1300 metres at a gradient of 4.8 percent on the approach to Karlova Ves. But all this will be just a prelude... A romantic descent along the Klučná stream, past a waterfall and the natural Kneipp Spa to Roztoky. At the Berounka, a sharp right and... One of the hardest hills in the Křivoklátska region! Average slope of 6.3 percent, a total of 3740 meters, a difference of 235 meters in height! The initial metres are difficult. When you go above Roztoky, you will have a beautiful view of Křivoklát. But the worst is yet to come.
The passage around the water reservoir, where you turn left, is over 12 percent. And the moment you reach the top of the 1100 metres, the most challenging phase will come. With an unparalleled view of the Týřov granite, but also with a 19 percent gradient in the most demanding passage. The finale simply wrings your legs to death. If the best time in the Strava app serves as motivation, it is held by Ondřej Cink, who climbed the hill in 9:11 minutes at an average speed of 24.5 kilometres per hour.
Nižbor - climbing premium (Long and Middle route)
A climb that the participants of previous years know well, but it has never been ridden in the form that is on the route of L'Etape Czech Republic 2024! In the direction from Chyňava the whole hill was in the itinerary as a downhill, in the past a part of the climb was ridden from the upper border of the village of Nižbor. In the 2024 edition, it will go from the Hotel Nižbor to the Pelechovka summit 6400 meters! The climb is brutal right away. The 820-metre long passage has an average gradient of 7.6 percent and the cyclists have to climb 63 vertical metres. No one will be surprised that the fastest time here is held by Ondřej Cink, who climbed the section in 2:02 minutes at an average speed of 24.3 kilometres per hour with an average power of 522 watts! The division into three passages is quite possibly an effective weapon to mentally cope with the difficult exit. Above the village of Nizbor, the route turns right into the forest and travels 3230 metres at an average gradient of 3.3 percent. From the turn-off to Bratronice there will be 1460 metres to the top. It will only have an average gradient of 2.2 percent. But after five kilometres uphill? This is where everybody's gonna hit rock bottom!
Úhoničák (all routes)
The popular hill is back! Since its premiere in 2021, however, the climb from Nenačovice has undergone a major transformation. Practically the entire length is a new asphalt carpet! On the premiere of L'Etape Czech Republic, Ondřej Cink held the KOM in the Strava app. But in the summer of 2022, Michal Schuran of ATT Investments climbed 2650 metres here with an average gradient of 3.7 percent in 4:41 minutes at an average speed of 34 kilometres per hour... Can anyone do better and faster? On the new asphalt, with the desire to win L'Etape Czech Republic 2024?
Motol (all routes)
Kukulova Street is rarely on the route of training rides of any of the cyclists. However, who in normal traffic would scramble around the Motol hospital towards Vypich. But once a year this hill is reserved for cyclists only! After a huge portion of kilometres, it is no slouch, as the 1350 metres has an average gradient of 5.1 per cent! After all the hardship, there are 69 vertical metres to climb. It was here that Daniel Turek flew to victory on the debut of L'Etape Czech Republic and since then he has held the fastest time of 2:35 minutes. Among the women, Nikola Nosková climbed the hill in Motele in three minutes in the second edition.
Spiritka (all routes)
The swearing could be heard almost at the finish area of L'Etape Czech Republic 2023! The Spiritka climb up to Atletická Street depressed many of the competitors and broke many of them. The last hill of the race is only 570 metres long, but everyone has a lot of kilometres in their legs. It's quite a challenge to tackle a hill with an average gradient of seven percent. Simply a spectacular finale that captures the significance of L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France 2024.