23-year-old Australian Lucas Hamilton has won the final stage of the Czech Tour ahead of teammate Daryl Impey in Sternberk on Sunday 18 August.
The result secured Impey’s overall victory and gives Mitchelton-SCOTT two stage wins, following the team’s success on the opening team time trial, and first and second on the general classification at the four-day race.
Five fight for freedom
It took over 40km and the assistance of the first climb for the breakaway to form on the final day.
Five riders made the move but with little separating the general classification battle, they were limited to an advantage of two and a half minutes.
As the road went up, the front group reduced to four before an injection of pace once again from Mitchelton-SCOTT ended their day in front.
Controlling the attacks
Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the next rider to try to challenge but, anticipating an aggressive finale on the local finishing laps, Mitchelton-SCOTT had the firepower still remaining to close him down in the last lap.
Not content to just defend, Hamilton and Impey went on the attack on the final lap, with Michael Kukrle (Alkov-Author) and Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) for company, but the duo were too strong for their rivals in the end and claimed the top two positions.
“As always, the boys rode incredibly all day and kept the break at a very small advantage because we wanted the GC but also really wanted the stage.
“Bora attacked when we hit the circuits but we always had numbers so we were always in control and Haig did a really good job to keep it all together heading into the final lap.
“Daryl and I went over the top with two other riders and played it in the finale so I could try and win the stage and Daryl really helped me there to let me take the stage.
“The team was amazing all week. The boys were so strong starting with setting it all up in the TTT. The engine room drilled it all-day every day and then they were still there in the finale to help Daryl in sprints.”
“We came here with big ambitions but they were also realistic with the team we chose. It was great to be around a motivated team and to feel so much support from the team and staff.
“The guys turned themselves inside out and made Lucas and I have easiest ride as possible. The results show that.
“I have enjoyed a great season but the underlying reason is the work the team puts into it behind the scenes. I am just fortunate to profit from the hard work I have put in and its great getting results along the way.
“Winning is never easy but with a team that is committed, anything is possible.”
Matt White - Head Sport Director
“It was more than 40km of attacking at the start so it was a very fast first hour of racing.
"The break went just on the first climb and then the ‘Engine Room’ had it under control for the next three hours. (Luke) Durbridge, (Michael) Hepburn and Chris (Juul-Jensen) had the breakaway sitting at two and a half minutes before they brought it back just as we hit the circuits with three climbs to go.
“Schillinger attacked in the circuit, but Jack Haig did a really really good job to bring it back with one to go and our two boys went off the front with two others to win the stage.
“Two stage wins, first and second overall, the points’ jersey and the team’s classification and it was a nice gesture by Daryl to help Lucas win the stage today.
“Look it’s not the biggest race we do on the calendar but the process you go through to win is just as important. It filled a nice gap for the guys coming off the Tour de France and is a good link for the next races they have coming up.
“As far as how they rode as a team, it was incredible. Everyone knew we were the favourites and so they looked to us on all three road stages. No other team rode a metre on the front except our boys these last three days.”
Czech Tour – Stage 4 Results:
1. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:33:53
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Michael Kukrle (Elkov-Author) ST
Czech Tour – FINAL General Classification:
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 13:22:59
2. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:09
3. Michael Kukrle (Elkov-Author) +0:33