History

2018 MICHAŁ KWIATKOWSKI

TOUR DE POLOGNE - THE INDEPENDENCE RACE

The 75th Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour took place between August 4th and 10th of 2018. This race was a special event in that it occurred on the centenary of Poland regaining its independence, and the fact that the race itself celebrated its 90th anniversary and also the 25th time that its organizer was Czesław Lang. Starting in the event were such stars of the international peloton as Michał Kwiatkowski, Fabio Aru, Thibaut Pinot and Simon Yates. The starting point for the 75th Tour de Pologne race was the Main Square in Krakow. The first section of the race over flat terrain favoured the sprinters. After crossing the finishing line in Krakow, Katowice and Zabrze, the peloton entered an upland terrain, resulting in rapid changes in the general classification. The stages in Szczyrk, Bielsko-Biała and Bukowina Tatrzańska proved decisive for the final order in which they finished. Traditionally, the efforts of the best professional cyclists were watched by millions of fans, with those spectators stationed on the route creating a fantastic atmosphere for this great cycling event. To mark the centenary of Poland regaining its independence, a mobile Tour de Pologne museum appeared at the finishing line of the various stages, an attraction that proved enormously popular.

A POLISH RACE AND A POLISH VICTORY

The hero of the race’s first section was Pascal Ackermann. The German sprinter of the Bora-Hansgrohe group achieved brilliant finishes in Krakow and Katowice and won the yellow shirt of leader. At the third stage in Zabrze, he was relieved of this trophy by another great sprinter – Alvaro Jose Hodeg Chagui from the Quick-Step Floors group. However, when the race entered the uplands, it was Michał Kwiatkowski, the favourite of Polish fans, who took matters into his own hands. This cyclist of the Sky group achieved a spectacular finish in Szczyrk, where he fought off the previous winner of the Tour de Pologne Dylan Teuns and took the lead. A day later, the Pole was also the fastest in Bielsko-Biała, where again he was up against Teuns. The advance he achieved made it possible for him to control the course of the race on the royal rounds around Bukowina Tatrzańska. In both stages he was in the lead group and was able to enjoy a final victory at the finishing line. Kwiatkowski became the second Polish winner of the Tour de Pologne after Rafał Majka since the race has belonged to the elite UCI World Tour series.

MICHAŁ KWIATKOWSKI

"It's a fantastic feeling to win in Poland, especially since it has been my dream for so long. I have been waiting for this win since 2012, when I took second place in the race. This time, I was not sure of my form due to the very tough Tour de France that had had its effect on my legs. The race was difficult from the very beginning, but especially from the stage in Szczyrk. Starting in this race were a lot of great cyclists who were aiming for the general classification, so from that moment on, I had to actively fight to hold on to the yellow shirt."

"The support from fans at every kilometre of the route was extraordinary. Having them at my side, shouting my name, was very motivating. And I’d like to thank them for that. Thanks are also due to my team-mates, especially Michał Gołas and Łukasz Wiśniowski, who have been with me for years and played an important role in this victory. I would also like to express my appreciation for the whole team, for their great work during this race."

2017 DYLAN TEUNS
2016 TIM WELLENS
2015 Ion Izagirre
2014 Rafał Majka
2013 Pieter Weening
2012 Moreno Moser
2011 Peter Sagan
2010 Daniel Martin
2009 Allesandro Ballan
2008 Jens Voigt
2007 JOHAN VANSUMMEREN
2006 STEFAN SCHUMACHER
2005 KIM KIRCHEN
2002 – 2004
1999-2001
1996-1998
1993-1995
1947-1992 IN THE SHADOW OF THE PEACE RACE
1928-1939 BEGINNINGS