Tour de Pologne Race Guide

Preview of the 70th edition

Last updated: 29th July 2013

With the Tour de France now completed the racing still arrives thick and fast heading into August with more big WorldTour points up for grabs at the Tour de Pologne.

Team Sky line-up:
31. Sergio Henao
32. Danny Pate
33. Luke Rowe
34. Ben Swift
35. Rigoberto Urán
36. Bradley Wiggins

7 stages
1238km total
Class: WT
UCI WorldTour

Jerseys:
Yellow - General classification
White and red - Points classification
Pink - Mountains classification

Past winners:
2012: Moreno Moser (ITA) - Cannondale
2011: Peter Sagan (SVK) - Liquigas-Cannondale
2010: Dan Martin (IRL) - Garmin-Transitions
2009: Alessandro Ballan (ITA) - Lampre

Full 2012 results

Official website


Also see

The stature of the event continues to rise, with the 70th edition seeing a unique format with the first two days of action taking place in the Trentino region of Italy. A big logistical effort sees the race move across Europe for stage three, necessitating an early rest day.

The race reverts back to its regular time slot after the Olympic Games forced the 2012 edition to clash directly with the Tour de France. The result is a bumper entry list which sees a return to action for Sir Bradley Wiggins, alongside the reigning Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Joining Wiggins is a strong but compact Team Sky line-up, with the race organisers experimenting with teams of six at WorldTour level. Sergio Henao, Danny Pate, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift and, Nibali’s closest Giro challenger, Rigoberto Urán round out the line-up.

Stages

Saturday 27 July – Stage one: Rovereto to Madonna di Campiglio – 184.5km

The race sets out its stall with a tough opening stage and very little in the way of respite for the riders. After less than 50 kilometres the peloton arrive at the opening climb of the day in the shape of the first category Fai Della Paganella Dolomiti Di Brenta (57.5km). From there the riders tackle a fast descent down into Garda Trentino before readying themselves for a steep run for home. The second category Passo Durone (146km) acts as a precursor to the tough summit finish up to Madonna di Campiglio. The stage should produce a worthy early leader.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport from 1630.

Sunday 28 July – Stage two: Marilleva Val di Sole to Passo Pordoi Val di Fassa – 206.5km

The race rounds out its time in Trentino with another tough, mountainous stage and a parcours back-loaded with climbs. The race heads out of Marilleva Val di Sole and criss-crosses the region, taking in an early sprint point at Segno (61.3km). From there the road begins to ramp up, beginning with the Passo Pampeago – the first of three first category peaks. The Passo Costalunga is next up before a second consecutive summit finish up the Passo Pordoi.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 from 1330.

Tuesday 30 July – Stage three: Krakow to Rzeszow – 226km

The sprinters get their first chance to shine as the race arrives back in Poland following a rest day. The route heads east out of the city of Krakow but is far from flat. A series of uncategorised, short, sharp climbs will test the legs of the fast men. The only points-paying peak of the day arrives with 36km to go and the third cat. Lubenia ramp. The riders will have time to regroup ahead of three 6km finishing circuits in Rzeszow and a likely bunch kick.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 from 1630.

Wednesday 31 July – Stage four: Tarnow to Katowice – 231.5km

A lumpy finishing circuit will keep the sprinters on their toes into one of the race’s traditional finishes in Katowice. This time heading east to west and skirting to the north of Krakow, the day gets off to a flatter start before a mid-stage section of climbing. Two sprint points then intersperse the run into Katowice and a 12.3km finishing circuit. Each of the four passes features two short climbs but a power sprinter should still prevail at the finish.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 from 1430.

Thursday 1 August – Stage five: Nowy Targ to Zakopane – 160.5km

An intriguing stage which will see a breakaway battle it out with the peloton while attacking ‘puncheurs’ try to outwit the sprinters. A lumpy day could see a breakaway run and hide as the route winds around Bukowina Tatrzanska. Six categorised climbs mean it is heavy going, with two passes over the first cat. Glodowka. The final rise of the third category Droga do Olczy is crested just 3km from the line and sprinters will be looking to hang tough if things come back together at the finish.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 from 1630.

Friday 2 August – Stage six: Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa to Bukowina Tatrzanska – 192km

A relentless parcours should turn the penultimate stage into a tough, albeit familiar challenge. The test sees the riders tackle five laps of a hefty 38.4km circuit – each featuring three climbs, two of which hold first category ratings. The clockwise circuit begins at the top of what will ultimately be the final climb, with a fast run down to the Zab ascent. There’s no respite as the race immediately heads up the Gliczarow Gorny climb before another descent. Then all that remains is a tough ramp up to the finish, meaning there is barely a moment of flat terrain on a punishing day.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport 2 from 1630.

Saturday 3 August – Stage seven: Wieliczka to Krakow (individual time trial) – 37km

The race concludes with an individual time trial for the first time since 2005 to completely change the complexion of the event. A significant test at 37km, the course is one of two halves as a relatively straight but undulating start gives way to a flatter yet more technical finish as the race returns to Krakow. This course of contrasts will still appeal to the time trial specialists and could well decide the overall winner of the event.

TV coverage: Live on Eurosport from 1630.

Team Sky history

In three appearances Sergio Henao holds the team’s best result in Poland with a podium finish and third place last time out in 2012. The Colombian came within a whisker of a win on stage six but Ben Swift was able to seal two victories for Team Sky in addition to the points jersey. Peter Kennaugh also produced a strong GC result a year earlier with fifth overall.

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