The Grand Depart is tomorrow in Krakow. 22 teams at the start for a total of 154 riders.
Everything is ready for the Grand Depart of the Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour, which kicks off tomorrow with the first 134 km, Krakow-Krakow stage. From August 4 to 10, there will be seven stages from Krakow to Bukowina Tatrzanska.
The Tour de Pologne party got started with the opening ceremony, featuring the presentation of the teams in the famous market place of “Rynek Glowny”, which is also Krakow city’s main square. This is shaping up to be a truly special edition, and its presentation was impressive as well. In fact, in 2018 the Tour de Pologne is turning 90 years old. The Tour de Pologne has become the most important annual sports event in Poland, and this year the race will also participate in centennial celebrations marking 100 years of Polish independence (1918-2018).
The big party got started, today at Novotel Krakow City West there was a press conference featuring the General Director of Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang and some of the Top Riders who are starting in this edition.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky): “I’m thrilled to be here in Poland. I’m coming off of three very demanding weeks at the Tour de France, where I spent a lot of energy, but it meant a lot to me to be on the starting line for this edition of the Tour de Pologne. It’s always exciting to be here, for me this race is special, it’s my native race, I can ride in front of my greatest fans. At this point it’s hard to talk about objectives; I will try to take the race day by day and based on how I feel I can get a sense of how far I can go. If I can vie for a stage victory or maybe even the general classification, it’s hard to tell at this point. Anyway, in addition to me, Team Sky is coming here to Poland with an excellent squadron. We can also count on Sergio Henao, who has always shined here on the roads of the Tour de Pologne”.
Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team): “It is beautiful to come back here as a winner. I still have a fantastic memory of that last edition. I scored my very first World Tour victory here in Poland; it was really rewarding. Unfortunately I haven’t been racing a lot lately, I did a training retreat in Livigno and then I participated in a one day race in Belgium in the end of July, which made me feel good. I will definitely give it my all because I really like this race. The route is similar to the one last year, so it is suited to my skills and the aim is to do well in this edition, too. But it will not be easy to get the same result as in 2017″.
Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates): “After the problems I had at the Giro d’Italia, I stayed away from competition for about two months. I got back into the game with the Tour de Wallonie, where I felt good. Now the Tour de Pologne will be an important test. The last times I’ve participated I’ve always had a nice time here in Poland. From a technical level the routes are good and the crowds are always exceptional. The Tour de Pologne was already on my schedule in the beginning of the season and now it will be an essential step on the way to the Vuelta Espana, and even in consideration of the World Championships. It is definitely a race from which to start over and face the end of the season on the right foot.”
Marek Rutkiewicz (Reprezentacja Polski): “This is the 16th Tour de Pologne in my career. I am very proud to be here and to have the honour to race on the roads of Poland with the Polish national jersey in such an important edition, since it celebrates 90 years of the Tour de Pologne and 100 years of Polish independence. In addition to being a great sports event, it is going to be a fantastic celebration for all of Poland, which those of us on the national team will try to honour in the best way possible.”
Maciej Paterski (Reprezentacja Polski): “For our Polish riders, both those who are riding for the National team as well as those riding for pack teams, the Tour de Pologne is something extraordinary. The roaring support from the crowds along the roads and streets of the cities; every day the atmosphere is awesome. This is my 9th Tour de Pologne and I am happy to ride in it wearing the national jersey. Every day I’m going to give it my all, and I will definitely be gunning to win a stage.”