Peter Sagan soloed to his sixth national road race title at the Slovakian Road Championships on Sunday. The current world champion crossed the line over two minutes ahead of his brother Juraj Sagan and six minutes ahead of third-placed Michael Kolár to make it a Bora-Hansgrohe podium sweep.
"I am happy to win my sixth Slovak championships. It’s always a proud moment for any athlete," said Peter Sagan, who won earlier titles from 2011-2015, and with his sixth title has now overtaken his Bora-Hansgrohe director Jan Valach, who won the Nationals five times.
"Congratulations to Juraj for his second place overall in the combined Czech-Slovak classification and to Michael Kolár who closed the Slovak podium. Thanks to my team Bora-Hansgrohe for the support and to the thousands of fans from both countries that cheered us here in Pilsen," he said in a team press release.
It was a combined Czech Republic and Slovakia Road Championships held in Pilsen – a city in the western Czech Republic. While Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan brothers and Kolár claimed the top three places in the Slovakian Championships road race, the Elkov Author Cycling team swept the Czech Republic Championships podium with Josef Cerný claiming the title ahead of Jan Bárta and Jakub Otruba.
"The combined Czech-Slovak national championships is always a very nice competition with a high level of racing and great atmosphere," said Juraj Sagan, who went into the race as a two-time defending champion.
"On the one hand, it's never easy to give away the Slovak jersey that I wore for two consecutive years but on the other, I’m happy to see Peter score such an emphatic victory and become the new Slovak champion."
It was a successful weekend for Bora-Hansgrohe as Maciej Bodnar took the victory in the individual time trial at the Polish Championships on Friday, and he was second in the road race to Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) on Sunday. Bodnar was ninth in the time trial at the Tour of California in May and fourth in the time trial at the Tour de Suisse earlier this month. It was Bodnar's fifth time trial title after winning the event in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
"From California onwards, my form improved constantly," Bodnar said. "After an intense training period, the Tour de Suisse last week was a perfect opportunity to get in necessary race kilometres. After the race, I recovered well, and from Friday on I felt really strong. I am very happy to be able to wear the jersey in the time trials to come, especially at the Tour de France. But to be on the podium for a second time today is a truly special moment. My shape looks to be timed perfectly this season."
Sagan recently extended his lead in the WorldTour series after the Tour de Suisse, where he won a stage and took the points jersey. He said that he was not yet in top shape for the Tour de France, however, and hopes to make improvements to his form before the Tour's Grand Départ on July 7.
Nice video from today's race at the Slovak and Czech national championships. Happy to be the Slovak champion for the 6th time (Video courtesy of @rtvs) @BORAGmbH@Hansgrohe_PR@iamspecialized@firstname.lastname@example.org/Fg3sBNno6C— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) June 24, 2018