CCC Sprandi Polkowice has selected the 8-man roster for the Portuguese stage race, Volta ao Alentejo (2.1). It will be held between 22nd and 26th of February.
The race will kick off unusually with a mountain stage. It will be followed by 4 flat stages that suit sprinters. We should get most of the GC-related answers in the first day of racing and later on the time gaps should be marginal.
There are four categorized climbs to open the race. They will be tackled in the second part of the stage and should make the selection before the mountain top finish to Castelo de Vide (4km long). The finale of stage 2 is also uphill, but the length and the gradient is not comparable, so sprinters won’t be ruled out of the contention. Next three days of competition are for bunch gallop specialists only. Small bumps shouldn’t cause to much trouble for the group and it should arrive to the line almost intact.
The “orange squad” is heading to Portugal with an 8-man lineup. Alan Banaszek, one of the fastest riders on the team, made the roster. He spent few weeks with a National Polish Track team, to prepare for the World Cup and despite no road race kilometers in his legs, he should be able to battle for the top spots. Jan Tratnik, who showed some power in the Spanish races, also could be in the contention, when it comes down to a sprint.
Two Czech climbers, Jan Hirt and Michal Schlegel are expected to perform well on the opening stage. The lineup will be rounded out by Piotr Brożyna, Kamil Małecki, Marcin Mrożek and Mateusz Taciak. The latter is the only rider of CCC Sprandi Polkowice who took part in 2012 edition of the race, the only one the “orange squad” participated in.
Stage 1 – Portalegre – Castelo de Vide (158km)
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Volta ao Alentejo (22-26.02, 2.1): Alan Banaszek, Jan Tratnik, Jan Hirt, Mateusz Taciak, Michal Schlegel, Piotr Brożyna, Kamil Małecki, Marcin Mrożek