Tour de Pologne – Kicks off on Tuesday from Warsaw
25 teams at the start with 200 riders. Poland’s “History Trail” as the setting.
It was a great day on the eve of the 73rd edition of the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour. The Polish stage race takes off tomorrow. There are 7 stages scheduled from July 12th to the 18th. It all starts with the first stage from Radzymin to Warsaw. It will be a fast stage of 135 km; on paper it looks like good terrain for the fast tyres in the pack. After the initial in-line phase that will pass through the heart of the capital, the group will take on 7 laps around a 13.8 km, circuit that looks technical and challenging.
Meanwhile, today, as we look forward to the race, the event was officially presented during a press conference at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. The top Polish riders lining up for this edition were all present at the conference, led by 2014 World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky). His right hand man and team mate, Michal Golas was right there next to him, along with Lucasz Wisniowski (Etixx – Quick-Step), Karol Domagalski (ONE Pro Cycling) and Marek Rutkiewicz (Reprezentacja Polski). 2011 World Champion and “Classics Chaser” Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) also attended the presentation.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky): “I’m happy to be here at the Tour de Pologne; for a Polish rider racing at home in front of local fans is always fun. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape, I’m fresh off a two-week, hard-working retreat we had here in Poland, near the mountains, with my team mate Golas. As for the final result I can’t make any promises to the fans, but my entire team and I will be fighting to ride a good race, coming out of the Tour de Pologne as best we can with our sights set on the goal of the Rio Olympics.”
Michal Golas (Team Sky): “I’m going to be with Kwiatkowski in Rio, too, and we are here especially to prepare well for this important event. The Tour de Pologne, with the aspects of its route, has become fundamental for riders gunning for the Olympics. Of course it means a lot to us to do well here on our hometown roads in front of our national fans. We will fight and we will give it our all; the best would be to manage to achieve a good result here in Poland and at the same time make it to the Olympics in top form”.
Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team): “I feel good and I’d say I like the route, at least what I’ve seen on paper; it looks suited to my skills. The aim is to ride a good race, with an eye on the general classification as well as a stage victory. Furthermore, for me the Tour de Pologne will be an important step towards the Rio Olympic Games, a date which means a lot to me”.
Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx – Quick-Step): “This is my first TdP and for Polish riders it is something special. I can feel it already. We have a strong team and would like to fight in the GC with Jungels for sure, and on the stages with Gaviria”.
Karol Domagalski (ONE Pro Cycling): “We are offensive, however we know that in a UCI World Tour it is hard to make it to the Top 10. But we are in good shape and we can plan a surprise by giving our sprinters a chance to fight for a good position in flat stages”.
Marek Rutkiewicz (Reprezentacja Polski): “A year ago the Polish National Team won one stage and had the yellow jersey for a day. I think it would be great to repeat this success. We have young and also experienced riders, and that mix can explode on the route. For me personally a position in the Top 5 would be satisfying”.
Czeslaw Lang (General Director TDP): “Knowing that a lot of riders have chosen the Tour de Pologne as a preparation stage for the Olympics is a source of pride and satisfaction. I’d say that the route we’re offering is perfect. From a sports perspective I hope this will be a great edition. There are important riders starting who will contribute to making the race spectacular and thrilling. Among these there are lots of Polish riders who testify as to how much our national movement has grown and how it is continually evolving. Poland finally has a major race and great riders, and this makes us very happy. This Tour de Pologne will be rich in historic significance; we will be taking a virtual journey through historical remembrance of our country, touching down in important places. In fact, already tomorrow with our start in Radzymin we will remember the tragic events of the Soviet-Polish War between 1919-1921, in which our Polish citizens resisted the Communist invasion of Poland and its spread throughout the rest of Europe”.
Official Start List for the Tour de Pologne 2016:
The Tour de Pologne joins forces with the UCI to ensure safety in the race. Today the course in Warsaw.
Before the conference, the UCI organized and held an additional course for drivers in the race, for those who want to get their “UCI Driver’s Certificate”. An important reminder to anyone holding a license as a vehicle driver in a road event: if you want to drive a vehicle during a World Tour event, you must also be in possession of the license issued by the UCI (UCI Driver’s certificate). This was the first time a course of this type was ever organized in Poland, which testifies to the growth that the Polish cycling movement is enjoying on all fronts. There was impressive participation, with more than 60 people registered, listening attentively to UCI Commissioner Philippe Marien, who focused particularly on the rules that must be followed by vehicles in a race in order to protect the safety of the riders.
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