Bratislava, Slovakia – One of the most important international sporting events in the country, the Tour of Slovakia kicks off its 65th edition today, with Slovakia’s former three-times world champion Peter Sagan fronting a star-studden peleton.
Starting off today with a picturesque prologue around Košice, the race will gradually travel west, taking in Spiš Castle, the High Tatras and the spa town of Trenčianske Teplice. Its steep climbs serving as the ideal preparation for those looking ahead to next week’s World Championships in Belgium, this year’s edition of the Tour of Slovakia welcomes some of the pro peleton’s biggest names.
One of those men who will be in search of a fourth World Championship title, is undoubtedly Slovakia’s own Peter Sagan, who will take part in his national road race for the first time in his carreer.
Sporting the colours of the Slovakian National Champion, the three-time world champion and seventeen-time stage winner on Tour of France will be cheered to the rafters on his home roads, as he builds his form for both the World Championships and Paris-Roubaix.
Against “Peter the Great” and his Bora–Hansgrohe team, six other WorldTour teams will looking to win the yellow leader’s jersey, which has a prestigious list of winners in recent years, including Julian Alaphilippe in 2018 and Jan Tratnik in 2017.
The defending champion Jannik Steimle will be returning to the race he won last year, as he heads a Deceuninck-Quick Step team that includes 2019 champion Yves Lampaert, while cycling great Chris Froome, who has won seven Grand Tours throughout his career, will head the Israel Start-Up Nation team.
Other riders include Kazakhstan’s Aleksey Lutsenko, seventh overall at this year’s Tour de France, Australia’s Jai Hindley, second overall at last year’s Giro d’Italia, former European champion Giacomo Nizzolo as well as twenty-one other Slovaks.
No Slovak rider has won the Tour of Slovakia since Martin Prázdnovský in 2005. The Tour of Slovakia will be broadcasted on Eurosport and Dvojka RTVS.