On August 25th PRO Ötztaler 5500 will debut in 2017 UCI calendar. CCC Sprandi Polkowice will take on this race, which some already consider as one of the hardest one-day events in the world.
What makes PRO Ötztaler 5500 so demanding is the length – nearly 220 kilometers – and the amount of climbing – over 5000m of total elevation gain. There are four massive climbs on the menu – Kühtai (1200m of elevation gain, 18,5km long, max. gradient 18%), Brennerpass (777m, 39km, max. 12%), Jaufenpass (1130m,15,5km, max. 12%) and Timmelsjoch (1759m, 28,7km, max. 14%), while the start and finish are located in Solden (start proper in Huben). Final 15km are all downhill, so not only climbing, but also descending skills will be needed.
CCC Sprandi Polkowice has selected the strongest climbers for this race. The team will be led by Jan Hirt, who finished 12th overall in 2017 Giro d’Italia. He has good memories from racing in Solden area, as he twice took top 10 places on Tour de Suisse stages held nearby. Czech also won general standings of Tour of Austria and once claimed 3rd overall, so he is familiar with uphill, Austrian roads.
Felix Grossschartner, winner of KOM jersey at Tour of Austria (2015) and 4th in GC this year, will want to make his countrymen proud in his national race.
The 6-man roster for PRO Ötztaler 5500 also includes two time Road Mountains Polish Champion, Łukasz Owsian, 2nd in GC of 2017 CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie, Leszek Pluciński, 14th in GC of Arctic Race of Norway, Jakub Kaczmarek, as well as Patryk Stosz, who collected multiple KOM jerseys as a espoir, at Carpathian Couriers Race and Course de la Paix U23.
Three UCI World Tour teams – Bora – hansgrohe, Orica Scott and Katusha Alpecin – have accepted an invitation from the organizers. They will lineup at the start alongside 7 ProContinental and 12 Continental squads.
The race will be covered “live” by Eurosport 1.
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for PRO Ötztaler 5500 (25th of August, 1.1): Jan Hirt, Felix Grossschartner, Leszek Pluciński, Jakub Kaczmarek, Patryk Stosz, Łukasz Owsian