Tour de Pologne opens with a parade of international stars

The 80th edition of the UCI WorldTour Tour de Pologne has officially presented the riders who will take part in the 80th edition of the Polish race. At the Poznan International Trade Fair, the 24 teams were unveiled one by one, along with all the top riders who will compete in the seven stages of the 1130 kilometre race and the four jerseys up for grabs, starting with the general classification jersey.

We have seven interesting days of racing ahead of us, judging by the athletes who will be starting tomorrow. I am sure they will give us a lot of excitement and a good show. I am curious to see who will be crowned leader of the general classification in Krakow,” said race director Czesław Lang.

Riders with GC ambitions such as João Almeida, Michal Kwiatkowski and Damiano Caruso are of the same opinion. Not forgetting Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), Tim Wellens (UAE Team Emirates), winner of the 2016 Tour de Pologne, Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers), winner of the 2019 Tour de Pologne, Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates), Thymen Arensmann (INEOS Grenadiers), Edward Dunbar (Team Jayco AlUla) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) will also be among the contenders for the leader’s jersey.

Here are some warm statements from the big GC favourites:

João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), winner of the 2021 Tour de Pologne
It’s great to be back at the Tour de Pologne. I achieved the first big success of my career here in 2021. It is undoubtedly special to race here again. I haven’t raced for a few months and I hope to find my form again. Although the course has changed the atmosphere is the same, there are some tough stages and as always it will be the legs that make the difference.”

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious)
I came back from the Tour de France with a good feeling after winning. I like the Tour de Pologne. I think it’s a balanced race with the right mix of climbs, time trials and sprints. As for me, we’ll see how it goes. I won a stage in 2019 and finished second in 2021, let’s see what I can do this year!”

Michał Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers), winner of the 2018 Tour de Pologne
I know some stages very well, for example the second one – from Leszno to Karpacz – which is a kind of queen stage of the race. The history of the Tour de Pologne has taught us that the competition is always decided by seconds, so I expect a tough fight for bonus seconds on every stage, trying not to create big gaps at the finish. This race is always a great spectacle, with exciting duels between the GC men, just the way cycling fans like it.”

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious)
I’m coming off a good two-month break, so this is the perfect race to get my form back to optimum levels. I’ve been training well for the last month and I hope it will be a good opportunity to win a stage.”

Among the sprinters to watch out for are big names such as Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step), Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates), Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), Fernando Gaviria (Team Movistar) and Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe).As Fernando Gaviria and Sam Bennett have confirmed, there will be plenty of fast bikes fighting for every flying finish and stage win along the route.

Fernando Gaviria (Team Movistar)
I haven’t raced since the Giro, so this will be my first race since the break. I’ve been training well and I’m hoping for good results. I like Poland and I have won here before. I will definitely try again.”

Sam Bennett (BORA – Hansgrohe),
The level of sprinters here is high. I think there will be at least three chances for the sprinters. My legs are good, I’ve been training well, but as always the road will decide who is the fastest.”

Tomorrow sees the start of a Tour de Pologne full of anniversaries and emotions, which promises to be a great spectacle featuring the best of international cycling.