“It’s been a successful year, there are more challenges ahead” says Czesław Lang, General Director of the Tour de Pologne. What challenges are we talking about? First and foremost, it is a completely new route for the only Polish race in WorldTour, but also other projects that the Lang Team is working on. It is the plan to organise as many as five stages of the UCI Nations Cup ORLEN Nations Grand Prix for national team riders, including stages abroad.
In 2022, for the first time in the Tour de Pologne’s almost 100-year history, the race was won by a Briton. Ethan Hayter of the Ineos Grenadiers, who is Michal Kwiatkowski’s clubmate, secured victory in the entire tour as early as the stage of the individual time trial with the finish on Wierch Rusinski.
The past edition of the Tour de Pologne, was held under the motto “Race for Peace”. Over the more than 1200 kilometres of the route from Kielce to Krakow, the cyclists were cheered on by 4 million fans – During each edition of our national race, we promote Poland. We show how our country is changing, how our roads are improving, what a modern infrastructure we have. The Tour de Pologne is our showcase to the world. In 2022, we also wanted to show our solidarity with brave Ukraine, which is why we chose this race slogan. All teams were given handbands in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, so this message was also visible on the podium. – says Olympic vice-champion from Moscow, Czesław Lang.
The 7 stages of the race were broadcasted live from start to finish. On TVP and Polsat Sport this resulted in a total of 50 hours of broadcasting. The race could be watched not only in Poland, but all over the world. The television broadcast reached over 100 countries, which gives a unique opportunity to show Poland. No other sporting event in our country offers such opportunities.
The new year will see the 80th edition of the Tour de Pologne, but the main theme will be the 95th birthday of the race, which has witnessed many important events in Polish history. Next year’s Tour de Pologne will start in Poznań and will end traditionally at Krakow’s Błonia. Karpacz will return to the route after many years, so there will certainly be plenty of sporting excitement among fans. – Despite 30 years of experience in organising the race, creating the route is never an easy task, but as a sportsman I believe that when it the gets tough, that is the best moment to attack. – says Czesław Lang.
Other projects that Czesław Lang’s team is working on include a plan to extend the ORLEN Nations Grand Prix from two stages to five, with the final in the Arłamów Hotel and carrying out some of the stages outside Poland. Three events for amateurs have also been prepared – two ORLEN Lang Team Races and ORLEN Tour de Pologne Amatorów – in Arłamów (27.05), Karpacz (30.07) and Bytów (16.09). Amateur cyclists will be scoring points for the general classification.
Young riders and cyclists – the future of the sport – have not been forgotten. Four stages of the Tour de Pologne Junior will also be organised on sections of the Tour de Pologne. The TdP Junior Memorial of Marian Więckowski is an opportunity to have fun and learn as part of a sporting competition.
– It’s going to be a very intense year, but we love cycling and we are grateful to the fans who cheer on the riders in such large numbers. It is for them that we organise these cycling events. – concluded Czesław Lang.