Czech cyclist Mathias Vacek finished fourth in the second stage of the Peace Race from Bruntál to Dlouhé Stráně (134 km) and moved up to third place in the overall standings. The leader of the standings at the start of the stage, another Czech cyclist, Pavel Bittner, finished in 49th place, over 11 minutes behind the leader and thus loses the yellow jersey for race leader. Belgian Lennert Van Eetvelt is now at the top of the overall standings being the best up the dreaded Dlouhé Stráně hill, which the cyclists had to complete twice today.
From the start, the pace was relatively fast, thanks to the Czech riders, and there were even a few break-aways, although they did not have much chance of success. During the double climb up Dlouhé Stráně the riders gained 1,700 metres in altitude. It was clear that the overall winner would be decided in the final kilometres.
"It was carnage out there today," said Mathias Vacek, who is 14 seconds behind the yellow jersey. "But the team did an excellent job, we controlled the whole race, the boys pulled it off great, hats off to them. We are very satisfied today, it couldn’t have gone any better today," said Mathias Vacek. His brother Karel helped him a lot in the final climb, and thanks to his heroic performance Mathias remained in the leading six-member group.
"My brother kept me going there, but in the end I had cramps and I couldn’t give any more. This climb is extreme," said Mathias Vacek. "We'll try to figure it out for the yellow tomorrow, we'll give it all tomorrow," he promised. "My brother and I knew we were doing great, my task was to go uphill as best I could," added Karel Vacek, who literally fell off his bike exhausted. For the first time in many years, we rode an excellent race as brothers, maybe there is more to come from us," he hoped.
Sunday's final stage travels 167 kilometres around Jeseník, and will have a total elevation gain of 2,340 metres.