Tour de Slovaquie will be the last build up race for CCC Sprandi Polkowice ahead of world championships in team time trial.
5-day stage event features demanding course, which gives the opportunity to fight for top places in particular stages to riders of all specialties. Race will kick off with 1,9km prologue in Poprad, which will be one of the goals for Jan Tratnik, a top-shelf time trialist, who won the opening stage in last year’s edition and afterwards defended his jersey all the way.
Short TT should see small gaps between the participants and that can’t be said about stage 1, the hardest of the race. There are seven categorized climbs (six of them are cat. 1) and mountain top finish to Štrbské Pleso on the menu. The final ascent is 7,3km long, at 5%.
Stage 2 is hilly and includes seven KOMs as well (four cat. 1), although 45km separate the last summit and the finish. Those who are not top-notch climbers may use that flat stretch to get back to the main field and still contest the sprint.
All road race stages were arranged in descending order, starting from the toughest and ending with the easiest one, terrain-wise. According to that trend stage 3 is undulating with only three climbs and again sprinters-friendly finale. The closing, 157km stage from Nitra to Galanta, will be completely flat and any outcome, which isn’t a mass finish, will be a surprise.
Outside of Jan Tratnik, who will be defending the last year’s victory, CCC Sprandi Polkowice have named a strong lineup with other TT and hilly terrain specialists. Mateusz Taciak, Kamil Gradek and Adrian Kurek are eying the prologue, as well as Szymon Sajnok, who will also be the team’s man for field sprint finish. Łukasz Owsian and Paweł Bernas will look for their opportunities in harder terrain. Out of that lineup a six-man team for world championships in TTT, will be selected.
Tour de Slovaquie
12 September, Prologue – Poprad – Poprad (1,9km)
13 September, Stage 1 – Poprad – Strbske Pleso (169,9km)
14 September, Stage 2 – Ruzomberok – Dubnica nad Vahom (194,8km)
15 September, Stage 3 – Dubnica nad Vahom – Nitra (180,6km)
16 September, Stage 4 – Nitra – Galanta (161,8km)
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice to Tour de Slovaquie (2.1, 12 – 16 września): Jan Tratnik, Łukasz Owsian, Paweł Bernas, Kamil Gradek, Adrian Kurek, Mateusz Taciak, Szymon Sajnok