Tour de Pologne sum up through Czeslaw Lang’s eyes
The 77th edition of the Tour de Pologne – UCI WorldTour got to an end amidst battles and crashes, joys and effort. It was a full-on race, despite the delicate worldwide situation, and the first stage competition on the new professional calendar. It’s been five intense days suitable for all types of riders, whose physical conditions have certainly been tested after months of forced training. Cycling restarted its show on the road, while organizers dealt with tight deadlines to deliver the racing caravane in the best event possible, meeting the usual standards.
‘We didn’t have much time to prepare the entire race. It’s not been easy. The sponsors waited a little to take decisions about their investments. It’s been hard to get permissions from the local government so as to make the race happen, but we made it. Of course, we also had to meet all the standards required by the Coronavirus situation and the consequent protocols. We did it, in line with the UCI specifications. I am glad that all the managers and commissioners took us as a role model.” said Czeslaw Lang trying to make an overall consideration about what concerns the planning of a race during a worldwide pandemic.
The 2020 Tour de Pologne rewarded sprinters, climbers and classics riders, who were able to show off the jerseys offered by the sponsors that have trusted the beauty and resonance of the Polish race. Among the youngest to wear the most coveted jersey, identifying the general classification leadership, there was the Belgian talent Remco Evenepoel, also leader of the Special Classification in the name of Bjorg Lambrecht, for the highest classified U23 rider in the final classification.
‘Remco Evenepoel is already dealing the cards in the peloton.’ affirms Czeslaw Lang. ‘It’s worth taking a look at his CV. He won all of the youth competitions, the World and European Championships. He definitely is a great talent. I hope he will continue to grow this way and I am absolutely delighted that he could add the Tour de Pologne victory in his palmares.’
Also the Tour de Pologne trophy changed slightly this year. Still keeping its original meaning, expressed through a curved path symbolizing the power of cycling and sports in general, this year the artist, Mirko Demattè, has introduced a positive message regarding the current world situation. The mountains of the Bukowina Tatrzanska region, depicted on the base of the prize given to the race winner, represent the immense strength against the difficulties of these challenging times.
The Polish race doesn’t only focus on pro riders, but considers the Polish cycling future and offers promising young riders a dedicated race, the Tour de Pologne Junior.
“I am glad that we managed to organize the Tour de Pologne Junior” continues Lang. “It would have been so sad for these kids if it hadn’t taken place. We do it every year and from this year with the new name Tour de Pologne Junior, a project sponsored by the Ministry of Sport. I saw great joy on the kids’ faces because they could ride a race. It is sowing the seeds, awakening the love of cycling, as later they will be the big stars of the UCI WorldTour.”
Thanks to a collective effort put in by the sponsors, host cities, partners, staff, teams, riders and fans also, the 2020 edition of the Tour de Pologne – UCI WorldTour could carry out a successful 5-stage race.
Sports can also have some downside. The terrible crash suffered by the Dutch champion Fabio Jakobsen, left everyone breathless. Luckily he already started his rehabilitation. The whole organization gather around all the riders and families involved in the fall, wishing them a speedy recovery.
A heartfelt thanks goes to all the medical staff attending the race and to the professionals who promptly supported us at the Santa Barbara hospital in Sosnowiec.