Tour de Pologne – a global brand and ambassador of Poland

The Tour de Pologne has been a worldwide event for many years. Excellent organisation, the biggest stars at the start line and great sporting emotions have made the race known, watched and respected in every corner of the globe.

The first edition of the Tour de Pologne took place in 1928. There were 71 riders at the start line and all of them were Poles. Foreigners first appeared in the peloton of our national race in 1937 (4th edition). These were the representations of Hungary, Romania and a French-Italian team (two riders of each nationality). Further milestones in the internationalisation of the Tour de Pologne were 1948 and the first stage victory by a foreign rider (Swede Olle Persson) and 1949 and the first triumph in the general classification by a foreign rider (Italian Francesco Locatelli).

In the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the Tour de Pologne, although still standing at a good sporting level, was overshadowed in terms of popularity in the country, and thus also abroad, by the Peace Race, which was lavished by the political authorities. The situation changed in 1993, when Czesław Lang took over the organisation of the TdP. From year to year, the prestige of the event grew. This was also seen and appreciated by the International Cycling Union (UCI), which consistently awarded it more and more significant categories. Today, the Tour de Pologne is part of the world elite – the UCI World Tour.


The Tour de Pologne crossed borders, not only arousing increasing interest in the international cycling community, but also literally. During the five editions of the race, its route partly ran outside Poland. It started in 2010, when the riders entered Český Těšín. Also one and two years later, the peloton visited this border town. In 2013, the trip was much further afield. For the first two stages of the 70th edition of the race took place entirely in Trentino, Italy. For the first time in its history, the TdP then started outside Poland. So far in 2014, we had the last foreign “excursion” of the Tour de Pologne participants. The route of the majority of stage 5 led through Slovakia, to the finish in Strbske Pleso.

The worldly flair of our national race was also given by the outstanding cyclists who raced on its routes. The Tour de Pologne is often referred to as the race of rising stars, a ticket to great careers for young riders. Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, Jonas Vingegaard, Michał Kwiatkowski or Rafał Majka are irrefutable arguments in support of this thesis. Anyway, there are more such “arguments”. Remco Evenepoel, in whom many see a successor to the legendary Eddy Merckx, won the first stage race of World Tour rank in Poland, and Jonas Vingegaard, the last Tour de France triumpher, was the best at the finish of stage six of the 2019 TdP for the first time. But there were other stars competing in the TdP – Olympic champions, world champions, winners of grand tours and famous classics, outstanding sprinters….

77.Tour de Pologne, 05-09.08.2020, fot.Szymon Gruchalski

The result is that the race has collected a mass of awards, with many titles of Event of the Year in the “Przeglad Sportowy” poll. The first one was awarded to the race organised by Czesław Lang as early as 1995, and from that event until today, the event and its boss have received dozens of awards. – I treat each one exceptionally, because it proves that our efforts are meaningful. And it’s not an award for the Tour de Pologne or Czesław Lang, but for everyone involved in creating the event. I’m talking about our partners in the cities, regions or companies that work with us. These are our victories,” says Czesław Lang.


And the competition in the TdP generates interest all over the world. Broadcasts and coverage of the race reach up to more than 100 countries each year, and far beyond Europe. The USA, Canada, China, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East or North America – it is difficult to find a place on the map where the Tour de Pologne would not leave its mark.
– The race offers huge promotional opportunities and the numbers confirm this. It has been and is being watched in countries on all continents. This is an invaluable value and such opportunities should be used,” emphasises Czesław Lang.

Our national race means millions of fans along the route and tens of millions in front of their TV sets. It is a world brand and a worthy ambassador of Polishness and Poland far beyond its borders.