CCC Sprandi Polkowice announces the 9-man lineup for Giro d’Italia (9-31 of May).
It was not easy to put the lineup together. That’s why we’d waited so long for the announcement of the roster. Many riders deserved to make it but there are only 9 spots on the team. I was sure about 6-7 riders earlier and the last races decided who will take the remaining 2-3 places – Piotr Wadecki, team’s DS said.
Our main goal for Giro is to win the stage. Maciej Paterski showed this year that he is capable of achieving big results in the prestigious events, against the best runners. I don’t see a reason why he wouldn’t be able to repeat the victory from Catalunya, in Italy. Grega Bole is a fast rider, who can fight for the podium if a shredded peloton, without pure sprinters, arrives to the finish. The experience Sylwester Szmyd is our GC guy. The other riders will try to ride aggressively and help the leaders.
First half of 2015 season was the best one for the “orange team”, since I’ve been a sporting director. Riders believe in themselves and they start the races fearlessly. We will show up to the Giro with that approach.
Lineup for CCC Sprandi Polkowice: Maciej Paterski, Sylwester Szmyd, Grega Bole, Łukasz Owsian, Marek Rutkiewicz, Branislau Samoilau, Bartłomiej Matysiak, Nikolay Mihaylov, Jarosław Marycz
Maciej Paterski: in 2015 the 28-year old had the most successful spring in his career. He won a stage in Volta a Catalunya, and was third on the penultimate day of racing. In both cases he claimed those places after the breakaway. He was also 9th in Amstel Gold Race, 22nd in Milano-Sanremo, 2nd in Volta Limburg Classic and took victories in all possible classifications at Tour of Croatia. He is all-round rider, who feels the most comfortable in a hilly terrain, and can sprint from a small group. It will be his debut in Giro d’Italia, although he has participated in Vuelta a Espana (three times) and Tour de France.
Grega Bole: main sprinter of the team. He specializes in a sprint from a shattered peloton. In 2015 he grabbed one victory – at the stage of Tour of Croatia. He also finished 16th in Milan-Sanremo and was twice in Top 3 on the stages of Ruta del Sol. In total, he claimed 10 places in the Top 10. It will be his second time at the Giro.
Sylwester Szmyd: one of the most experienced riders in the professional peloton and the expert on Giro d’Italia. He completed 11 editions and in total 22 Grand Tours – all of them as a gregario. This season he proved to be still one of the best climbers – at Ruta del Sol he was 4th on a stage with an uphill finish (behind such riders as Alberto Contador or Christopher Froome). He also took 3rd on a queen stage and in the final GC in Croatia.
Marek Rutkiewicz: he kicked off the season slowly, but then continued to improve with every week. The closer it was to the Giro the better form he was in. In Volta a Catalunya he showed himself on the last stage in Barcelona, where he initiated a 3-man breakaway and was strong in Croatia (finished 9th overall). Rutkiewicz is good on the ascents and event better on the descents – he’s one of the best descenders in the world. The upcoming Giro d’Italia will be his first in a long career.
Branislau Samoilau: aside from Szmyd, he has the most Giro appearances under his belt. He’s completed it 4 times – once finishing 22nd in GC. He is very solid in the mountains, in the race against the clock, and is very valuable as a gregario. In Tour of Croatia was 6th on the queen stage and overall.
Bartłomiej Matysiak: current Polish champion. He suffered injury at the beginning of the year but quickly came back to his good form. He is the main lead-out man for Grega Bole and can sprint himself, especially when the road is going slightly uphill. He has never taken part in the Grand Tour.
Jarosław Marycz: one of the best timetrialists on the team. He was a part of the winning squad that won the team trial during Settimana Coppi e Bartali (this year’s Giro kicks off with TTT). He has extensive experience in the World Tour teams and once was racing in the three-week event (Spanish Vuelta).
Łukasz Owsian: very hard working and always focused. He is still young – 25 years old. One of his strengths is climbing – he is the current Mountains Polish Champion. He lost some racing early in the year because of the knee injury, but he fully recovered and will be ready for his first Giro d’Italia.
Nikolay Mihaylov: current Bulgarian champion in the road race. He was one of the strongest “riders in orange” on the mountain stages of Tour of Turkey. The 27-year old performs well in the time trial and will be valuable part of the team in the TTT. It will be his first appearance in the Grand Tour.
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.
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.