CCC Polsat Polkowice racing as UCI Continental squad in 2012
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

CCC Polsat Polkowice racing as UCI Continental squad in 2012

by Kyle Moore at 3:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Polish team continues to race after initial confusion

Marek RutkiewiczIt was reported in September that the Polish team CCC Polsat Polkowice would not continue in 2012, but the team confirmed this month that it would indeed continue racing next year with a UCI Continental license. Co-sponsor Polkowice takes over as primary sponsor, and the team will be known as CCC Polkowice.

In a bit of irony, the Polish team’s success almost brought about its demise. The squad does not get many chances to shine on an international stage, but in the 2011 Tour of Poland, the team did just that. They finished fourth out of 22 teams, many of them ProTour, in the final team classification. As expected, a CCC Polsat rider was present in almost every breakaway, gaining valuable television time in the process.

The team carried 18 riders into the 2011 season, and as a result of performing well when it mattered most, eleven have transferred to other teams, including all but one of the riders from the 2011 Tour of Poland roster.

Moving to Team NetApp are Mariek Rutkiewicz (pictured) and André Schulze. Rutkiewicz, a team leader, finished 10th overall in the Tour of Poland, just 32 seconds behind winner Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale). The 30-year-old capitalized on the good form, taking 18th in the Vattenfall Cyclassics and 28th in the World Road Race Championships. Schulze took four wins in 2011.

Tomasz Marczynski and Jacek Morajko have transferred to Vacansoleil-DCM. Both are former national champions; Marczynski in both the road race and time trial in 2011, and Morajko was the road race champion in 2010.

The mass exodus brought about rumours of the end of the team, but CCC Polkowice is back as a UCI Continental squad in 2012.

“The only changes that have taken place in the team are personnel changes, which greatly contributed to the fact that, in the 2012 cycling season, we will be registered as a Continental team, not as it was last season, when we raced as a Pro Continental team,” the squad said in a statement. “The drop to a lower ‘league’ is not due to financial problems, but human resources.”

“This year some of our best riders have signed contracts with ProTour teams that give them a better chance for further career development in cycling and thereby participate in the biggest races, including the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

“On the one hand, we are pleased that our team riders, through the results they achieved, were noticed by the best teams in the world. On the other hand, their leaving the team meant that we lost our best riders used in forming the backbone of the team.”

The team will look to continue to develop young Polish talent, race the Tour of Poland again in 2012, and eventually become Pro Continental once again.

CCC Polkowice for 2012:

Tomasz Kiendys, Pawel Charucki, Rafal Ratajczyk, Adrian Honkisz, Sylwester Janiszewski, Mateusz Taciak, Bartlomiej Matysiak, Kamil Zielinski, Dariusz Batek, Piotr Gawronski, Lukasz Owsian, and Grzegorz Stepniak


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