The sprinters are all set for the new challenges at the Tour de Pologne UCI World Tour, which kicks off on 30th July from Kielce.
Three tailor-made stages for the sprinters, who will be called to account from the first stage with the finish in Lublin. Although it is not completely flat, it will favour the athletes who can withstand the three ascents, one of which is located just before the finish line. There will be no time to rest because as early as the second stage, there will be an excellent chance to try and win the final sprint in Zamość, where the riders will have to complete a circuit of almost nine kilometres around the city.
The last chance for the fast wheels will be the final stage in Krakow, an always coveted and prestigious success to end the 79th edition of the race on a high note.
“This year’s route has been designed to allow everyone to show the best of them. Sprinters will have plenty of chances to show off here. There will be a total of 14 LOTOS Intermediate Sprint Primes to be won on all stages, and the battle for the LOTOS sprinter classification jersey will go on until the end” states Czeslaw Lang, Tour de Pologne General Director.
Among the favourites for these three stages are names such as: Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) – winner of last year’s stage in Chełm – Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), winner of the British national title, Alberto Dainese (Team DSM), Arnaud Demare (Groupama – FDJ) and Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates).
“I have great memories here in Poland : I have 4 stage wins between 2018 and 2019 and I’m hoping to build on that this year” says the UAE Team Emirates sprinter. ‘”’I’ve seen from the race route that there are 2 or 3 opportunities for sprints so I will be focussed on those. I had a complicated start to the season and I am hoping for big things in the second half and Poland is part of that process.” he concludes.
Not to be underestimated will be the flying sprints, important for the conquest of the jersey but also indispensable for those aiming at the general classification for which every second will be precious, as they will have to contend with ever-shorter gaps.
Classics specialists such as Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Jan Tratnik (Team Bahrain Victorious), and Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) will battle on the route of the fourth stage starting in Lesko. The route winds its way through the Sanocko-Turczańskie mountains, with numerous ups and downs. Three second-category KOM PZUs are positioned in Czarna, Leszczawa and 30 kilometres before the finish in Sanok.
“The fights for the KOMs are always spectacular. Although we don’t have the highest mountains, we always try to find beautiful and challenging uphills, so it’s never easy to win the mountain prime.” states Czeslaw Lang, Tour de Pologne General Director.
Three exciting fractions that promise a real spectacle, both for the riders aiming for the stage victory and for those aiming for the general classification, who will in any case have to pay attention to the various flying sprints – five in total – on the route over these three days.