The curtain rises on the 78th edition of the Tour de Pologne, UCI World Tour race, which will take place from 9 to 15 August. The edition was officially announced last night, during the live presentation on TVP Sport where Czeslaw Lang explained in detail the seven stages, and no longer five as last year due to the pandemic..
The riders will have to compete on a varied and suggestive course. There will be two stages for pure climbers, two dedicated to the fast wheels, two for Classics’ specialists and one for time trialists, for a total of 1,139 kilometers, all to be experienced until the last pedal stroke.
Stage 1 Lublin – Chełm
The 78th edition of the Tour de Pologne will kick off in Lublin, a fascinating Medieval city, one of the oldest in Poland that boasts a rich history and architecture, as well as being home to various universities.
The first stage will be rather hilly and the course will roll through wide-ranging hills and unspoiled nature, typical of the Lubelskie region countryside, for a total of 216.4 km and around 1700m elevation gain. The finish line awaits the athletes in a beautiful and unexpected square in the historic center of Chelm after a 500m cobbled section that will undoubtedly favor the finisseurs.
Stage 2 Zamość – Przemyśl
The 200.8 km second stage unfolds between the Renaissance city of Zamość and Przemyśl, an important strategic, economic, and commercial center. The route is characterized by a predominantly undulating first part and a very treacherous second section. The riders will be engaged in a circuit that takes in three climbs, one 3rd cat and two 2nd cat, which will make them tackle an 1800m total elevation gain.
The race result will be settled in the last 1500m where the field will roll on a wide downhill road on tarmac that progressively narrows and runs on setts, whereas the climb includes sections with 13 to 15% gradients.
Stage 3 Sanok – Rzeszów
The 226.4 km stage no. three will start from Sanok, a fourteenth-century city in the historic region of Galicia, featuring a 2800m elevation gain that makes it a perfect day suitable for the sprinters. In the initial 160 km, the route is very undulating, with various ascents and descents as the only challenge of the day. Starting from the 161st km on, the sprinters will organize their trains for the final sprint in Rzeszów, a capital with a modern soul and a rich historic center, also home to the one of the most important Polytechnic University, training IT specialists and civil aviation’s pilots.
Stage 4 Tarnów-Bukovina Resort
The riders know the Bukovina Resort arrival very well, as it’s a true classic in the Polish competition as well as the conclusion of one of the most spectacular and fought stages. It starts from Tarnow, called “The Pearl of the Renaissance” for the beauty of the old city, and finishes at the Bukovina Resort after having tackled 160.5 km, 2700m elevation gain and all the hardest climbs characterizing the final part of the stage. The enchanting natural scenery of the mountain surrounding this amazing area will be the setting for a spectacular stage, both in terms of vertical elevation gain and landscape.
Step 5 Chochołów / Gmina Czarny Dunajec – Bielsko-Biała
The fifth stage is expected to be the hardest and selective one in the whole 78th edition of the Tour de Pologne.
The riders will face a 172.9 km long stage from the village of Chochołów to the town of Bielsko Biała, lying at the foot of the Beskids. The course includes a series of climbs with 6 to 7% gradients and a finish line, set at the end of a slightly uphill home stretch and visible at the red triangle, where the riders will have to battle until the last meter to grab the win.
Stage 6 Katowice – Katowice
The sixth stage will be entirely dedicated to the time trialists, with a 17.9 km ITT stage that runs in the city center along an interesting course, including a cobblestones section, in the historic center. Katowice’s Art Nouveau buildings, canals and the attractive mix of modernity and antiquity of one of the most visited towns in Poland,will serve as a backdrop to the riders bent over their handlebars’ extensions.
Stage 7 Zabrze – Kraków
The Tour de Pologne ends with a 145.1 km long showcase and 1000m elevation gain, starting from Zabre, an important manufacturing glass and iron productive center.
Past the initial 3rd cat. climb, the teams will have plenty of flat kilometers to get organized for the sprint, closing the 2021 edition of the Polish race in the splendid setting of Krakow, the ancient Kings’ residence, whose historic center has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the 12 most precious architectural sites in the world.
– I think the 2021 course is well balanced starting from the first stage. The Tour de Pologne is a race that can either be won or lost in a matter of seconds, therefore each stage may prove to be decisive – says Czesław Lang, General Director at the Tour de Pologne. – I personally think that the 2nd stage with its difficult uphill finish and the time trial in Katowice, stage n 6 will make the biggest difference. Overall, the route has changed significantly, compared to the previous years. I am very excited about this fresh start – concludes.