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The 66th edition of Tour of Slovakia starts in a few days and Slovaks will once again cheer on best cycling teams

The 66th edition of Tour of Slovakia starts in a few days and Slovaks will once again cheer on best cycling teams

From 13th to 17th September will Slovakia belong to the cycling. Right at their doorstep, fans will be able to see the world class riders, which they can see in the greatest cycling Tours. 


The general partner of Slovak biggest cycling event is the brand Niké - the first Slovak betting company. The main partners are the Slovakia Travel agency, which promotes the beauty of our country abroad, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports, the Ministry of Finance with the support of broadcast production, the Janom brand and the brand Škoda, which ensures smooth mobility during the race by providing a fleet of cars. 


Fans will be again able to watch the race on Eurosport and Slovak National Television's sporting channel. Thanks to the support of Slovak government and Slovakia Travel agency, it will once again be possible to show the beauty of our country to the millions of foreign viewers. 


"Cycling is the only sport, where fans have direct access to their hero athletes and also is one of the very few sports that can promote the whole country and all the cities where the race is taking place. When we add the international coverage, there is no better investment in tourism then cycling. Our race has twice in a row received the highest possible evaluation from the UCI, which is reflected in the interest of the best world teams to start here, as well as interest from the fans both along the track, who always create a nice atmosphere, and in their homes, watching the broadcast. It all goes hand in hand with promoting our marvellous country. That is also why I am very happy the we once again found support from the Minister of Finance in the form of a financial backing for the broadcast production, and also from the Slovak Travel agency regarding the broadcast signal coverage through their program - Good Idea," says the general director of the race, Peter Privara. 


This year again a good start list will be racing in Slovakia 


World's long term best cycling team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl will be on the startline for the fifth time in a row. Three other teams from the highest World Tour division will be present as well - Israel Premier-Tech, Astana Qazaqstan and Jumbo-Visma. These giants of the sport will be supplemented by six Proteams, ten Continental teams and the Slovak national team. 


"The biggest star of the race is definitely Mark Cavendish, winner of 34 stages and two green jerseys at the Tour de France. There is an uncertainty coming from the team however, that his start is not confirmed yet, because Mark is suffering with the Post-Covid symptoms. If Cavendish will not be fit, another great sprinter Ethan Vernon is ready to replace him. Start of the best leadout man of the world Michael Morkov is a certainty and the Dane's colleagues will be Zdeněk Štybar, Mauri Vansevenant, Josef Černý or even Martin Svrček, presently the only Slovak rider in the World Tour," says Ľudovít Lučanič, the sporting director of the event. 


"Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen should lead the Jumbo-Visma. Both of them were very good at the Giro, with Oomen breaking into Top 20 in the overall, and Leemreize collecting five Top 10 results in stages, including the second place in the queen stage of the race. Another notable riders are Sacha Modolo and Filippo Fiorelli from Bardiani CSF, Sebastian Berwick and Rudy Barbier from Israel Premier-Tech, and former colleague of Peter Sagan, experienced Manuele Boaro, along with a favourite of the race Stefan De Bod from the Astana Qazaqstan squad," adding Lučanič. 


There will be sixteen Slovak riders at start line. Peter Sagan's brother Juraj will lead the National team, supported by Marek Čanecký, Samuel Kováč, Andrej Líška and Juraj Karas, with two spots still undecided. Home Continental team Dukla Banská Bystrica will be represented by Lukáš Kubiš, Pavol Rovder, Martin Haring, Samuel Tuka and Dávid Kaško, plus two more chosen riders. Svrček and Matúš Štoček from the ATT Investments team are the two remaining. 



727 kilometres during five days 


This year’s portion of 727 kilometres will take place in a much hillier terrain then in last two years. At the end of the summer, the organizers had to deal with a few changes to the course due to delayed road repairs on some climbs, but the stage cities and route from west to the east remained unchanged. 


The race will start with a time trial in the streets of Bratislava on the 13th of September and will end in second biggest city in Slovakia, Košice on the 17th of September. 


Beside those two cities, the event will also visit Trnava, Hlohovec or Levoča. There will be twelve intermediate sprints on the route, as well as seventeen categorised climbs. Among the biggest hills on the road will be the likes of Červený Kameň, Detvianska Huta or Dobšinský kopec. 


"From my point of view it’s the hardest route in years, but also one of the most beautiful ones. We again tried to show the talismans of Slovakia, like Spišský hrad, or historical city of Levoča and many more marvellous places all around the country," says Stanislav Holec, the route constructor. 


Yellow jersey and the UCI points as the main prizes 


The race has several completions. Apart from stage victors, overall winner will be awarded with the yellow jersey, the points classification leader will wear the green jersey, polka-dot one is for the leader of the climber’s classification and the best riders under 23 years of age will receive the white jersey. Best Slovak in the overall standings will be recognized as well, as will be the best Slovak under 23 years of age and best team in the teams’ standings. 


Winners of all these competitions will also get the prize money. UCI points are on offer as well. Three best riders of each stage, as well as every day’s overall leader and the Top 25 riders in general standings will be awarded with these points, for which riders and teams primarily compete.