Černý quickly settled into his rhythm out on the 22.5-kilometer course, setting the best time at the intermediate checkpoint by six seconds before extending his lead further over the second half of the race and crossing the line in 26 minutes and one second.
This time would ultimately be enough to see Černý seal victory and move into the white jersey of the race leader ahead of the final stage but with just one second separating him from Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) and another predicted bunch sprint with bonus seconds on the line tomorrow, it’s still all to play for at the race.
CCC Team’s two American riders, Joey Rosskopf and Will Barta, who spent time in the hot seat himself, also showed their time trialing prowess out on the course, eventually finishing a very solid fourth and seventh respectively.
The Winner’s Interview with Josef Černý
Congratulations, Josef. How are you feeling after today’s victory?
“I feel great and I am really happy to get this win today for the team. It also felt amazing to get a victory in my national champions skinsuit. I definitely felt like that gave me more power today. The course was mostly flat but the wind was strong with a headwind/crosswind in the first part and then more of a tailwind at the end which I was able to take advantage of and really leave it all out on the road.”
You came into the race off the back of your win at the National Championships, were you feeling confident ahead of the time trial here?
“I was definitely feeling confident in my form off the back of my win last week. I knew that after that I would be really well-prepared for this time trial and I thought I would be able to win here but you never know 100 percent. I also knew that, as a team, we had a really strong group for this stage so it was great to have Joey finishing fourth and Will seventh today. We proved that we were the best TT team here.”
Heading into the final stage, you now lead the General Classification by one second. What are your expectations for tomorrow’s race?
“It won’t be easy to hold onto the jersey with Démare just one second behind but we will try our best and we also have some cards to play with Joey sitting third overall. It was a little bit of a pity that we weren’t able to do more in the first stages but we definitely made up for that today and I think we can fight hard tomorrow and hopefully make a good result in the end.”
Quotes from the Finish Line
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“It goes without saying that I am really happy with today’s result. We knew coming into this time trial that we had some strong riders who could challenge for victory today and in the end, we finished with three in the top ten and Josef on top. It was an excellent result and I’m happy with the performance of all three guys, Josef, Joey, and Will.”
“We had a tactic from the beginning to try to race for some bonus seconds as well as making sure Josef, Joey, and Will didn’t lose any time on any of the stages. We were able to do that and today, I think, we did a perfect race. We were really well-prepared for it with Marco Pinotti, the best in terms of time trials, here and everyone was really motivated. Josef did a really great job and he was very strong, setting the best intermediate time as well as the best time at the finish line.”
“Josef now has the jersey ahead of Démare by one second and Joey is third on the General Classification which is great. Tomorrow is another stage where Démare will be the favorite and with 10 seconds bonus on the finish line it could be difficult however, we got the victory today and we will enjoy it before seeing what is possible tomorrow.”
Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine
Stage 4 / ITT: Futuroscope > Jaunay-Marigny (22.5km)
Top 3: 1. Josef Černý (CCC Team) 2. Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) 3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ)
CCC Team Top 3: 1. Josef Černý 4. Joey Rosskopf 7. Will Barta