After competing in Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Giro d’Italia, CCC Sprandi Polkowice will take on third UCI World Tour stage race of the season, Tour de Suisse (June 10th-18th).
Jan Hirt has performed extremely well in the past, in this event. Those climbs suit him very well and we hope he will be able to showcase his climbing strength, battling with GC contenders – Piotr Wadecki, DS of CCC Sprandi Polkowice explains. – Even though Jan is coming off a long and exhausting Giro d’Italia, he should be in good shape. In Italy he was getting stronger with every stage and his form was going the right direction. After some time off and good recovery, he should be ready to put up another fight. Those two time trials don’t play in his favor in terms of general standings, but we will try to get a good result on the stages.
For the Swiss event, we have selected three other riders, who were part of the Giro roster. Felix Grossschartner and Branislau Samoilau will look for their chances in breakaways on tough stages, while Simone Ponzi will try to sprint for top spots in the fast finales.
The 8-man lineup will be rounded out by Adrian Kurek, Leszek Pluciński, Jonas Koch oraz Jakub Kaczmarek.
Tour de Suisse consists of 9 stages, but none of them suit pure sprinters. First two will be held in Cham. Race will kick off with 6-kilometer prologue (time trial), which will be followed by a stage, which consists of four, 43-kilometer laps. On the third day of racing, the terrain won’t be overly demanding, but the punchy finish will exclude typical sprinters, from contesting the sprint, as it will favor classic riders and puncheurs.
Stage 4 will be the first test for climbers. They will tackle cat. 1 climb to Col des Moses (13,7km, avg. 4%) and HC, leading towards the finish in Villars-sur-Ollon (11,1km, avg. 7,6%). The next day, there is another HC ascent on the map, but this time it will be located midway through the stage. If the pace is not too high there, it may come down to a bunch gallop in Cevio.
The field will definitely break in pieces on stage 6. It features two massive HC climbs – San Bernandino (31,3km, avg. 5.3%) and Albula Pass (25,8km, śr. 5.3%). The top of the latter is just 2,5km away from the finish in La Pula.
In 2015 Jan Hirt finished 7th and last year in 10th. How will he perform in Solden this season? This is where Czech unveiled his climbing talent to a bigger audience, racing head to head against the top riders in the world. Stage 7 suits Hirt perfectly since it’s all flat from the start to the bottom of the decisive climb and then the road kicks up – 14,2 kilometers at average gradient of 9,5% await the riders.
After descending from the mountains, the peloton will head to Schaffhausen, where two last stages will take place. There are 8 laps with cat. 3 hill on the penultimate stage and to wrap up the 9-day competition, 28,6-kilometer individual time trial will be played out, with one “bump” in the end.
Tour de Suisse:
10 June – Prologue – Cham – Cham (6km)
11 June – Stage 2 – Cham – Cham (172,7km)
12 June – Stage 3 – Menziken – Bern (159,3km)
13 June – Stage 4 – Bern – Villars-sur-Ollon (143,2km)
14 June – Stage 5 – Bex – Cevio (222km)
15 June – Stage 6 – Locarno – La Punt (166,7km)
16 June – Stage 7 – Zernez – Sölden (166,3km)
17 June – Stage 8 – Schaffhausen – Schaffhausen (100km)
18 June – Stage 9 (ITT) – Schaffhausen – Schaffhausen (28,6km)
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Tour de Suise (10-18.06, 2.UWT): Jan Hirt, Felix Grossschartner, Branislau Samoilau, Simone Ponzi, Adrian Kurek, Jakub Kaczmarek, Leszek Pluciński, Jonas Koch