The race’s 95th birthday is just one of many reasons to celebrate the 2023 season.
One of the country’s most popular and prestigious events, the Tour de Pologne, is turning 95 years old in 2023, and the Lang Team, in its 30th year at the helm of the race and is preparing to celebrate an 80th edition full of anniversaries that will travel through history to evoke the spirit of an event that has narrated Poland for almost a hundred years.
To tell the long popular tale of the Tour de Pologne, we would have to go back to 1928, when the race was called the ‘1st Cycling Race Around Poland’. It was a real event that thrilled the population. A population that had not yet experienced such important competitions on the ground. On the 7th of September that year, 71 riders set off from Warsaw for a 1491-kilometre race through Lviv, Poznań and Kraków. The 10-day race was won by Feliks Więcek, who crossed the finish line one hour and ten minutes ahead of his first competitor. Between the two World Wars, the Tour de Pologne became a very popular race and gave several Polish cyclists their fame, such as two-time winner Bolesław Napierała, nicknamed ‘Tiger of the Roads’.
In 1993, Czeslaw Lang took over the reins of the competition, working hard to transform it from an amateur to a fully-fledged professional race. From that moment on, the Tour de Pologne received an incredible push across the borders to become part of the prestigious UCI Pro Tour series in 2005 (today’s UCI World Tour), receiving a place among the world’s most important stage races on the international calendar.
“Thirty years of organization is a very important milestone for us,” Lang commented. “When I took the helm of the Tour de Pologne, I knew that this competition had incredible potential: it was loved by the fans and the cyclists who raced it, it was considered a complete and open race even then, always ready to put on a show. Over the years we have achieved incredible goals and there are still so many to chase, just like cycling has taught us. 2023 will be an exciting season for everyone, we want it to be truly memorable.”
Many events will revolve around the Tour de Pologne. This year to commemorate these prestigious anniversaries cyclists, fans, and the organization will therefore be involved in a collective celebration along the most iconic roads and stage towns that evoke the history of this amazing race, a mirror of a country that is always evolving.