The eight-man squad with five Polish riders will take on the biggest cycling race in Poland, Tour de Pologne. It kicks off on July 12th.
Tour de Pologne is the most important stage event for our team and it was not easy to select the roster. There were many riders who aspired to be in the lineup, but eventually we decided to go with five Polish and three international riders – Piotr Wadecki, sporting director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, explained.
Victor de la Parte will be the GC leader for our team, but we also count on Felix Grossschartner. They both should be up there, with the favorites on the climbs and are capable of doing solid time trial. They proved that at Tour de Suisse.
We don’t want to target only general classification and mountainous stages, since there are also some flat or undulating stages, where we can give it a try and go for the win. Last year, Maciej Bodnar claimed a victory in Nowy Sącz and another Pole, Kamil Zieliński took the leader jersey. There might be that kind of opportunity also this time and we have to take advantage of it.
It would be hard to imagine a Tour de Pologne roster without two-time King of the Mountains, Maciej Paterski. He, Łukasz Owsian, Mateusz Taciak, Branislau Samoilau, Jarosław Marycz and the youngest of the „eight”, Polish Champion U23, Michał Paluta, will line up at the start with offensive mindset.
Also Jan Hirt, who is at his best on the long ascents and just won Tour of Austria, was in consideration, but we’d decided that the Polish climbs might not be long enough for his set of skills – Piotr Wadecki added.
The Polish one-week race will kick off in Radzymin, from where the peloton will head to Warszawa. It will be a chance for the sprinters, as well as the next stage from Tarnowskie Góry to Katowice. Next two stages will have more undulating profiles, with some climbing in the second part of the course. Even harder and longer climbs await the riders in the fifth day of racing when they will tackle a route from Wieliczka to Zakopane and 7 KOM’s (3xKościelisko, 2xGłodówka, 2xZąb). Arguably the most demanding stage of the completion will be held around Bukowina Tatrzańska though. There are as many as 15 opportunities to collect points for King of the Mountains classification. The 194-kilometer course consists of 5 laps, 38,9km each, with cat. 1 climbs to Ząb and well known Ściana Bukovina in Gliczarów and cat. 2 to Wierch Rusiński. The finish will be also located on the ascent.
The winner of general classification will be selected after 25-kilometer time trial around Krakow, which will wrap the race.
Program of Tour de Pologne (July 12-18, 2.UWT):
Stage 1 – Radzymin – Warsaw (138km)
Stage 2 – Tarnowskie Góry – Katowice (128km)
Stage 3 – Zawiercie – Nowy Sącz (240km)
Stage 4 – Nowy Sącz – Rzeszów (218km)
Stage 5 – Wieliczka – Zakopane (225km)
Stage 6 – Bukovina Resort – Bukowina Tatrzańska (194km)
Stage 7 (ITT) – Kraków – Kraków (25km)
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Tour de Pologne: Victor de la Parte, Felix Grossschartner, Maciej Paterski, Łukasz Owsian, Mateusz Taciak, Branislau Samoilau, Jarosław Marycz, Michał Paluta