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Asian-Spanish season opener for CCC Sprandi Polkowice

CCC Sprandi Polkowice will kick off the 2016 season with races held at the Persian Gulf and in Spain.

Firs races of the season are always hard, since you have to switch from training to racing pace – sporting director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Piotr Wadecki says. – We need that kind of competition and races against the best teams in the world, to get into racing rhythm early in the season. Last year’s program proved that it’s the right path for us. At the beginning of February we participated in Dubai Tour, which attracted one of the best riders in the peloton. Later it paid off and we recorded very good cycling spring.

The team will start their Asian campaign with Dubai Tour (February 3rd-6th, 2.HC). This year it will be its third edition and for the second consecutive time CCC Sprandi Polkowice will be taking part. The route consists of four stages – three for the sprinters and one with an uphill finish to Hatta Dam. Two days after that stage race, “orange squad” will take on another one – Tour of Qatar (February 8th-12th, 2.HC). In the previous years the particular stages would mostly finish with the bunch sprint and the most decisive one – in terms of the final general classification – was the individual time trial. That may be the case also this season.

Tour of Oman (February 17th-22nd, 2.HC) is the most demanding terrain-wise, among those three events, although sprinters will have their chances as well. The most crucial stage is usually the one which ends with Jabal al Akhdhar climb (“Green Mountain”, 5,7 km, 10% avg). This is where Robert Gesinki, Christopher Froome and Rafael Valls claimed both – stage and overall victory.

Races held at the Persian Gulf are mostly flat and wind is often a big factor. It will be a great opportunity for us to work on riders’ power, speed and dynamic. Races in Spain are more hilly and this is where our climbers should polish their form – Piotr Wadecki added.

Start of the season in Europe

CCC Sprandi Polkowice will inaugurated the European season at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2.1, February 3rd-7th). The Spanish stage race is returning to the UCI calendar after 8 years of hiatus. The organizers – former professional cyclists, Ángel and Rafael Casero – plan to include mountain and hilly stages, 15-kilometer time trial and a sprinters’ stage in Valencia which will wrap up the 5-day competition.

CCC Sprandi Polkowice will continue its Spanish campaign with two one-day races – Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia (13th of February, 1.1) and Clasica de Almeria (14th of February, 1.1). For the “riders in orange” it will be their fifth and fourth consecutive participation in those events respectively. They have performed very well in the previous years, taking top 10 places on multiple occasions. In the race held around Murcia, which favors good climbers, Davide Rebellin and Maciej Paterski have both finished inside the top 10 (Rebellin was third in 2014). In Almeria, where fast riders are usually in the spotlight, Bartłomiej Matysiak has taken 7th place twice.

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol (February 17th-22nd, 2.1) has also been on the team’s program few times already. Every year it draws best climbers of the professional peloton. In 2015 Sylwester Szmyd put on great performance, by taking 4th on the toughest stage, with an uphill finish to Alto de Allanadas. He was defeated only by Tour de France winners, Froome and Alberto Contador, and an exceptional climber, Mikel Nieve.

The team will prepare for the season traditionally in Calpe. The training camp will be held between 4th and 20th of January. After the camp, the official presentation of the team will take place in Polkowice.

Initially the team planned to inaugurate the 2016 season with races in Australia, but eventually the team’s management decided to cut on the travelling and changed the program.

First races of 2016 season for CCC Sprandi Polkowice

Part I of the team

Dubai Tour – February 3rd-6th, 2.HC

Tour of Qatar – February 8th-12th, 2.HC

Tour of Oman – February 17th-22nd, 2.HC

Part II of the team

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – February 3rd-7th, 2.1

Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia – February 13th, 1.1

Clasica de Almeria – February 14th, 1.1

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol – February 17th-22nd, 2.1