While one part of CCC Sprandi Polkowice roster is racing in Catalonia, the other one will kick off another stage event, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (March 23rd-26th, 2.1).
The Italian race is held in the undulating region of Emilia Rmoania. The profiles of stages suit classic riders, thus we can expect some 2-3-kilometer long climbs, sprinkled all over the course, as well as sprinting battles in the finale. The route includes numerous circuits, so the peloton will tackle the same climbs on multiple occasions.
The most decisive stages, in terms of general classification, are stage 1b – 13,3-kilometer team time trial and stage 2, with three difficult laps in the second part of the race and the top of the last climb right before the finish in Sogliano sul Rubicone. Just like in the previous years, the TTT will have an unusual format, as every squad will be divided in two 4-man teams. “Riders in orange” know very well how to perform in such formula, since they won similar stage 2 years ago, beating Team Sky among others.
If nothing unexpected happens on stage 1 and 3, they both should end with a bunch sprint. On the last day of competition the race can go either way. It’s very likely that many riders will try to take advantage of the final opportunity to move up in the general standings, so we might see lively action on the final climb. It may as well come down to a bunch sprint, since it’s still few kilometers left after the last ascent.
Polkowice-based squad has sent strong and fast lineup to Italy. Jan Tratnik, who finished in top 10 on a daily basis in this year’s Volta ao Alentejo, Alan Banaszek, who has already one victory in UCI race this year and Frantisek Sisr, who is always up there with the fastest will lead the team. Jonas Koch also showcased in the past that he knows how to sprint from a smaller group, which may be the case in the Italian event.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice is hoping to do well in the team time trial and selected TT specialist – Marcin Białobłocki, Adrian Kurek, Nikolay Mihaylov and Branislau Samoilau.
March 23rd- Stage 1a – Gatteo – Gatteo (97,8km)
March 23rd – Stage 1b (TTT) – Gatteo a mare – Gatteo (13,3km)
March 24th – Stage 2 – Riccione – Sogliano sul Rubicone (130km)
March 25th – Stage 3 – Crevalcore – Crevalcore (171,4km)
March 26th – Stage 4 – Fiorano modenese – Sassuolo (160km)
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (23-26.03, 2.1): Jan Tratnik, Alan Banaszek, Frantisek Sisr, Marcin Białobłocki, Adrian Kurek, Nikolay Mihaylov, Branislau Smaoilau, Jonas Koch