Tour of Poland announces four out of five wildcard teams
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tour of Poland announces four out of five wildcard teams

by Ben Atkins at 11:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
 
Polish National Team to ride WorldTour race again, along with Colnago-CSF Inox, Team Type 1 Sanofi and Caja Rural; no Polish trade teams eligible

tour of polandThe Tour of Poland - the Tour de Pologne - has announced four of the five teams that will be granted wildcard invitations to the race. The Tour is part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, and so all eighteen ProTeams will automatically be invited - and required to attend - but the race can invite any number of Professional Continental teams to take the peloton up to a maximum of 200 riders.

In addition to Professional Continental teams, the Tour of Poland - like the Santos Tour Down Under, in Australia - the Tour of Poland has been granted special dispensation to invite a Polish national team, which will be largely made up of riders from Continental teams.

“For the 2012 wild card assignments we received lots of requests to participate from teams all over the world and for us this is a source of enormous satisfaction because it underscores once again how this race is growing in importance,” explained race director Czeslaw Lang. “Actually we’ve assigned four out of the five available wild cards.

“For the Polish National team the Tour de Pologne represents the major event of the season,” he continued. “Every year the National team riders light up the race and honour this commitment to the fullest. Last year the Fiat red jersey that distinguishes the most active rider in the pack was won by none other than a Polish National rider, Adrian Kurek. To ride on hometown streets wearing the National jersey is always wonderful; also for our young riders the Tour de Pologne is an important showcase to stand out on an international level.”

In addition to the Polish National Team, the three Professional Continental teams invited so far are Team Type 1-Sanofi from the United States, Colnago-CSF Inox from Italy [although the team is registered in Ireland for tax reasons - ed], and Caja Rural of Spain.

“I’m sure that Team Type1-Sanofi will know how to make a good impression and give an important contribution to our race,” emphasised Lang. “We chose this team because it showed great interest in the Tour de Pologne. In one year they’ve managed to grow and become an international-level team; their ranks include athletes from several important countries, and there are some excellent elements.

“In 2011 they raced throughout the world, obtaining important victories and placements,” he added. “It’s also worth highlighting the generous project that the American team is pursuing with commitment and determination, which aims to motivate diabetics to take up sports, raising world awareness for this condition, an important message they will also be able to convey in Poland.

“Finally, regarding the decision to invite Colnago-Csf Inox and Caja Rural, I can say that up to now they’ve always proven to be two very valid teams with young and talented riders,” Lang added. “Among its ranks Caja Rural also features a young Polish rider, Karol Domagalski. Surely both teams will line up two very competitive formations for the start of Tour de Pologne and they won’t miss their chance to do battle and light up the race.”

The fifth team to be invited will be revealed at a later date; with CCC Polsat-Polkowice slipping back down to Continental level, there will be no Polish trade teams at the race this year.

The 69th edition of the race will be held earlier than previous years, because of the Olympic Games in London, running from July 10th to 16th, meaning that it clashes with the Tour de France. Last year’s race was won by Liquigas-Cannondale’s Slovakian champion Peter Sagan.

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