CCC Sprandi Polkowice received an invitation from the RCS Sport, organizer of Giro d’Italia, to participate in the three-week race. The team will also take part in two Italian Monuments, Milan – San Remo and Il Lombardia.
– Invitation to those races is by far the biggest highlight in the team’s history, since I’ve become the directeur sportif. It has been a long process and we are very proud that RCS Sport has put trust in us. What’s special about the invitation to the Giro is the fact that we are the only non-Italian team, which received the wildcard – Piotr Wadecki, team’s DS, said. – In the offseason we made some changes and strengthened the team. We brought in few international riders with impressive cycling resumes. We also signed Sylwester Szmyd, who has finished Giro d’Italia 11 times and knows everything about the race. All those moves and the results which we accomplished in the previous years, were recognized by the RCS Sport. They were also impressed with our approach and long-term plan for the team – he added.
– We are very happy about this invite but we are aware that it’s also a big responsibility and a challenge. All of our riders have to be in the top shape in those races and we have to concentrate on the right preparation. As a team, with this management and roster, we’ve never taken part in the three-week race, so we have a hard task ahead of us. Not only on the sporting level but also logistic. Before the season we have added extra masseurs, mechanics and we hired technical coordinator, Slawomir Blaszczyk, who has WorldTour experience – Wadecki continued.
This year’s edition of Giro d’Italia will be held from May 9th to May 31st. It will kick off with the team time trial from San Lorenzo do San Remo and end with the flat stage from Torino to Milan. In total the race will include 9 mountain stages (6 of them with mountain finish), 6 hilly stages (one of them is an individual time trial) and 6 stages tailored to sprinters.
Back after 12 years
For the Polkowice-based team it will be second time at the Giro d’Italia. The first time goes back to 2003 when CCC Polsat belonged to Division 1. Dariusz Baranowski was the highest ranked rider “in orange” in the GC – he finished 12th.
Among current CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders, Stefan Schumacher and Davide Rebellin have achieved the best individual results in the Giro. German won two stages and wore the pink jersey for two days in 2006. Italian won one stage at the beginning of his professional career, in 1996, and was leading the race for six days.
Sylwester Szmyd is the rider who has the richest experience not only in the Giro d’Italia, but Grand Tours in general. In total he finished three-week races 22 times, most of the time playing the role of gregario. His best GC performance came in 2006, when he claimed 19th place.
Branislau Samoilau has 4 Giro’s under his belt (was 22nd in 2007) and Grega Bole once took part in the “race for pink” (he finished all three Grand Tours). Even though Maciej Paterski and Jaroslaw Marycz never competed in the biggest Italian race, they both tasted what it’s like to race in the Grand Tour. Paterski finished Vuelta a Espana three times and Tour de France once, and Marycz completed the Spanish Vuelta once.
“Riders in orange” in Italian Monuments
The team sponsored by Dariusz Miłek, owner of CCC, has never participated in the Italian Monuments, although last season it took part in the UCI WorldTour one-day event, Amstel Gold Race.
Davide Rebellin has raced in those two Italian races over a dozen of times. He was twice close from getting on the podium in La Primavera, taking 4th in 1995 and 2008. In 2002 Giro di Lombardia he lost only to Michele Bartoli. Aside from that he finished 5th in four other editions.
Sylwester Szmyd was standing on the start line of “the classic of the falling leaves” basically every year from 2001 to 2011, claiming 17th place in 2007. Last season, after 13 years of professional career, he debuted in the Milan – San Remo.
Stefan Schumacher was climbing Cipressa and Poggio twice, in 2008 and 2007 (was 16th). Maciej Paterski took 18th in his only Italian Monument, Giro di Lombiardia in 2010.