While part of the team will inaugurate the season in Spain, the other one will kick off the 2016 in Dubai. The same line-up will also take part in the following Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. For Simone Ponzi it will be a debut in the orange colors.
Dubai Tour should suit Simone’s characteristics. He is a fast rider, who is doing well on short climbs. The finale of the decisive stage is exactly for that kind of guys. Last year that stage was won by John Degenkolb, so it proves that the finish is not for climbers, but for one-day race specialists – Piotr Wadecki, sporting director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, explains. – Of course it’s hard to predict anything since it’s the first race of the season for our team. It’s impossible to tell what exactly shape our riders are in. We definitely don’t want to approach this race as a preparation though. We want to compete and be among the contenders.
Simone Ponzi won’t be the only member of CCC Sprandi Polkowice who is capable of delivering good result in Dubai. Davide Rebellin is one of the most successful cyclist in the professional peloton and wants to prove, that despite 44 years of age, he is still among the strongest. Aside from Ponzi, also Grzegorz Stępniak eyes flat stages. The Polish-Italian sprinters duo can count on the lead-out specialists, such as Adrian Kurek, Tomasz Kiendyś and Jarosław Marycz. All-rounders Branislau Samoilau and Adrian Honkisz will round out the line-up.
This year’s Dubai Tour is the third one in the race’s history and second in which CCC Sprandi Polkowice is participating. The route includes 4 stages – 3 for the sprinters and one with an uphill sprint finish to Hatta Dam.
Program of Dubai Tour (February 3-6, 2.HC)
Stage 1 – Dubai › Fujairah – 179km
Stage 2 – Dubai › Palm Jumeirah – 188km
Stage 3 – Dubai › Hatta Dam – 172km
stage 4 – Dubai › Burj Khalifa – 132km
Two days after the Dubai Tour the same 8-man roster will take on another stage race – 5-day Tour of Qatar. In the previous years the stages would usually end with a bunch gallop and the GC would be decided in the individual time trial. That may be the case also season – the 11-kilometer TT is set for the third day of competition.
We believe that Jarosław Marycz and Adrian Kurek have good chances of taking the top GC place. They can perform well on the windy stages, are strong in the echelons and can time trial. Depending on the day, Stępniak and Ponzi will be our guys for the sprint – Wadecki adds.
Program of Tour of Qatar (February 8-12, 2.HC).
Stage 1 – Dukhan › Al Khor Corniche – 176km
Stage 2 – Doha › Doha – 135km
Stage 3 – Lusail › Lusail – 11km (ITT)
Stage 4 – Al Zubarah Fort › Madinat Al Shamal – 189km
Stage 5 – Sealine Beach Resort › Doha Corniche – 114km
Tour of Oman (February 17-22, 2.HC) is the hardest one among the Asian triptych, in terms of the terrain, although the sprinters will also have their chances. It’s almost a tradition that whoever wins or is 2nd on the stage to Jabal al Akhdhar (5,7km, 10% avg), also wins the entire race.
Tour of Oman’s route is similar to the one from Tour of Turkey, where Rebellin was close to finishing the race on the podium. There is no time trial and the climbs are hard enough to break the bunch apart. Italian likes those not so long, but steep climbs such as Jabal al Akhdhar and we will try to take advantage of that – Wadecki concludes.
Program of Tour of Oman (February 17-22, 2.HC)
Stage 1 – Oman Exhibition Center › Al Bustan – 145.5km
Stage 2 – Omantel Head Office › Quriyat – 162km
Stage 3 – Al Sawadi Beach › Naseem Park – 176.5km
Stage 4 – Knowledge Oasis Muscat › Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) – 177km
Stage 5 – Yiti (Al Sifah) › Ministry of Tourism – 119.5km
Stage 6 – The Wave Muscat › Matrah Corniche – 130.5km
CCC Sprandi Polkowice line-up for Dubai Tour, Tour of Qatar I Tour of Oman: Davide Rebellin, Simone Ponzi, Grzegorz Stępniak, Jarosław Marycz, Adrian Kurek, Tomasz Kiendyś, Branislau Samoilau, Adrian Honkisz