8-man squad of CCC Sprandi Polkowice will be competing in a 9-day Austrian event – Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt.
The race around Austria is one of the hardest races in cycling calendar – Piotr Wadecki, sporting director says. – Basically every day the riders will have to tackle hills which are few kilometers long and some are over 10 kilometers long. There are two stages with mountain top finish and we are hoping that Jan Hirt will showcase his climbing talent, just like he did during Tour de Suisse, when he was able to keep up with the best climbers in the world. On other stages we will be trying our luck in the breakaways. There will be six World Tour teams and seven strong ProContinental teams, so it’s going to be very competitive.
Aside from Hirt, there are few other riders on the roster, who feel comfortable in the mountains, such as Sylwester Szmyd or Brnislau Samoilau.
The race will start with a 5,4 team time trial in Wien. Next three, hilly stages, should suit strong escapees, such as Maciej Paterski. First uphill finish will be held on the fifth day of racing, when the cyclists will be climbing up to Villacher Alpenstrasse. Two days later, the race will run on even harder course, with two HC-category KOMs. The second one, in Kitzbüheler Horn Alpenhaus, is also the finish. In the first part of this stage, the peloton will reach to highest point of the race, at the bottom of Großglockner, 2504 meters above the sea level.
After that exhausting stage, on the penultimate day of racing, the organizers have planned out a day for the fast riders. The Tour of Austria will be wrapped up with lots of climbing (two cat.1 KOMs), but will finish on the flat roads of Bregenzer Festspiele.
Lineup for Int. Österreich-Rundfahrt-Tour of Austria (2.HC, 4-12.07): Jan Hirt, Bartłomiej Matysiak, Sylwester Szmyd, Łukasz Owsian, Maciej Paterski, Leszek Pluciński, Branislau Samoilau, Mateusz Taciak
Program of the race:
Prologue – Ringstraße – 5,4 (TTT)
Stage 1 – Mörbischer Festspiele – Scheibbs, 207km
Stage 2 – Litschau – Grieskirchen, 126km
Stage 3 – Windischgarsten – Gratwein/Straßengel, 185km
Stage 4 – Gratwein Stift Rein – Villacher Alpenstraße/Dobratsch, 205km
Stage 5 – Villach/Drobollach – Matrei in Osttirol, 180km
Stage 6 – Lienz – Kitzbüheler Horn Alpenhaus, 169km
Stage 7 – Kitzbühel – Innsbruck, 139km
Stage 8 – Innsbruck-Völs – Bregenzer Festspiele, 185km