The most important Polish race for the „orange squad” – Tour de Pologne, will start on August 2nd in Warsaw and end on August 8th, with a time trial in Cracow.
It was very difficult to choose the final eight-man squad, which will participate in the Tour de Pologne. At least 14 riders deserved to make the roster – Piotr Wadecki, sporting director of CCC Sprandi Polkowice, explains. – It’s hard to talk about the details of the strategy for the race, since we will take every stage day-by-day. We will also sit down with all the riders on Friday and set the specific tasks for everyone.
With the individual time trial on the last day of racing, it should be the good time trialists who will fight for the top GC places. Nikolay Mihaylov is very solid in the race against the clock and he can also climb well. That’s why we believe that he has the biggest chances of delivering good result overall. Branislau Samoilau is similar type of the rider. Marek Rutkiewicz, Davide Rebellin and Jan Hirt will be chasing a win on the hilly stages. Rutkiewicz can also time trial well, when he has to defend his overall position. So, if he gains some time over his rivals in the mountains, he is capable of holding on to his place in general classification after the TT.
Adrian Kurek and Maciej Paterski will try their luck in the breakaways and will aim for the most aggressive or king of the mountains classification. Bole is our man for the sprint, but he has also proved, that he can climb and can stay in the main group even on the hardest stages – he adds.
Last year Maciej Paterski took the king of the mountains classification and Marek Rutkiewicz was the best CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider overall. He finished in 11th place and slightly missed out on his tenth top 10 result in TdP in his career. Rutkiewicz has also the most participations in the Tour of Poland under his belt and this year’s edition will be his 13th.
The route of 72th Tour de Pologne
Tour de Pologne will start with a sprinters’ stage around Warsaw. It’s 122 kilometers long, with a start at the National Stadium and a finish by the Theatre Square. Next two stages, both held in the Silesian voivodeship – from Częstochowa to Dąbrowa Górnicza and from Zawiercie to Katowice – are also tailored to fast riders. On the fourth day of racing, when the peloton will cover 220 kilometers from Jaworzno to Nowy Sącz, the favorites will test their legs on two category 1 climbs and on one category 2. Further two stages will feature lots of climbing. During stage 5, from Nowy Sącz to Zakopane, cyclists will face well known, for Polish fans, hills in Ząb, Gubałówka and Głodówka. On the next day the peloton will tackle even more famous and even harder climb in Gliczarów (called “Bukovina Wall”, with max. 23%). The finish of both mountain stages will be located on the short ascent, so time gaps between the leaders are expected to occur. Tour de Pologne will be wrapped up with a 25-kilometer time trial around Cracow, through Wieliczka.
Program of Tour de Pologne:
August 2nd – Stage 1 – Warszawa – Warszawa, 122km
August 3rd – Stage 2 – Częstochowa – Dąbrowa Górnicza, 146km
August 4th – Stage 3 – Zawiercie – Katowice, 166km
August 5th – Stage 4 – Jaworzno – Nowy Sącz, 220km
August 6th – Stage 5 – Nowy Sącz – Zakopane, 223km
August 7th – Stage 6 – Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa – Bukowina Tatrzańska, 174 km
August 8th – Stage 7 – Kraków – Kraków, 25km (ITT)
Lineup for Tour de Pologne: Marek Rutkiewicz, Maciej Paterski, Davide Rebellin, Nikolay Mihaylov, Jan Hirt, Branislau Samoilau, Adrian Kurek, Grega Bole.