In the 68th edition of Tour de Pologne for the first time – since it has belonged to World Tour – the team of CCC Polsat Polkowice will start. We have talked with the sports manager of the team, Piotr Wadecki, about the assumptions, plans and expectations concerning that race.
One of the surprises is the lack of Andre Schulze in the roster. Does it mean that you are resigning from sprints and focusing on the general classification?
In fact, we are aware of the fact that it would be difficult to fight in sprint duels. We want to focus on breakaways, ride the race very actively and fight in the combativity classification, points classification and the best-climber classification. We have good climbers in our composition, so we are also hoping for high places in the teams classification. I hope that the tactics assumed will bring the expected result.
It will have been the first time that a Polish team will take part in Tour de Pologne since the race has belonged to the elite World Tour. What are the tasks set to particular racers?
We are starting with Marek Rutkiewicz as the leader, but a different scenario is not unlikely, either. Marczyński is in a good form, we also have Mendes, while Taciak can ride in mountainous area too. The other cyclists should be visible in the first phase of the race and I am going to expect that from them.
Can Marek Rutkiewicz afford a victory? Or will a place among the leading ten be satisfactory for you?
A place in the leading ten will be a good result. The importance of Tour de Pologne increases year by year, it is not the race any more that for other cyclists is a preparation for Vuelta. It is clearly seen that better and better cyclists come to Poland, such ones that are oriented towards a fight in the general classification. The place among the leading six will be very good, the podium would be a success, but both we as a team, and Marek, are standing at the starting line thinking of winning.
One of the most recent stages of preparations for Tour de Pologne was for you the race in China and classic races in Italy. I understand that all the cyclists are in a good form, and nothing bothers them?
Yes, I do not receive information about anybody complaining about the form, or about health problems. Three cyclists are now taking part in the race Around Mazowsze as the last stage of the preparations. I had a short training camp with the other five racers in Zakopane, to get familiar with two most difficult stages of Tour de Pologne. If any of the cyclists suffered an injury or other problems we have four cyclists in reserves, who are also in a good form.
The stages in Zakopane and Bukowina will be the key ones for the results of the race. Which of them do you consider more difficult?
Both stretches are very hard, but it seems to me that the stage in Zakopane will not decide about the results of the race. It will surely have to be ridden carefully and we cannot afford any loss of time. The laps decisive for the outcome of the race will be those around Bukowina Tatrzańska and in that stage the winner of the race should emerge.