Tour of Poland presents tough, mountainous course for 2012 edition
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tour of Poland presents tough, mountainous course for 2012 edition

by Ben Atkins at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
 
WorldTour race launched in capital, Warsaw aimed at pre-Olympic preparation

peter saganThe route of the 2012 Tour de Pologne - the Tour of Poland - was presented in the country’s capital, Warsaw today. The seven stage race, which has been part of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour (previously ProTour) since the series’ inception in 2005, will take place entirely in the southern area of the country, with a number of tough mountain stages.

“In addition to reaffirming itself as an important event in international summer cycling, this year the Tour de Pologne will expand its prestige even further; since it will be held just a few days before the Olympics, the roads of Poland will become an essential passage for those riders who are strongly focused on the 2012 London games," explained race director Czeslaw Lang. “It is for this very reason that we have designed the 2012 Tour de Pologne trying to make the race even more spectacular, both for the public as well as the riders, who won't only be here to win but will also want to prepare their legs as best as possible for the Olympics.”

Because of this Olympic proximity - and arguably to try to attract riders away from the Tour de France, which runs concurrently - the race will largely be dominated by hilly and mountain stages, but will also offer something for the sprinters.

“It all starts off from Karpacz,” Lang explained, “a historical town in the Tour de Pologne which is back after a few years off the schedule with an immediately gruelling stage on a route suited to climbers. Then, the second stage with arrival in Opole will be very long - almost 240 km, with a hilly course suited to attackers. The third fraction arriving in Cieszyn will also be challenging and tense [this stage also features  the traditional border crossing into the Czech Republic - ed].

“After these first three hard days there will be a more relaxing stage,” he continued, “if you can call it that, suited to the fast wheels in the group, the fourth portion arriving in Katowice. This will be followed by another two important stages, where the climbs will once again loom large; the fifth and sixth stages will arrive respectively in Zakopane and Bukovina Tatrzanska, the Queen stage for 2012; both stages will be fundamental for the final classification before the conclusive showcase in Krakow.”

As part of the WorldTour, all eighteen ProTeams are automatically invited to the race, and the Tour de Pologne has invited a further seven “Wildcard” teams. Ordinarily under UCI rules, only second division Professional Continental teams are eligible for invitations but - like the Santos Tour Down Under - the race has special dispensation to invite a Polish national team, in order to allow as many riders from the home nation to take part.

The 2011 edition of the Tour de Pologne was won by Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), who also won two stages. Four of the remaining five stages were won by German sprint prodigy Marcel Kittel (then Skil-Shimano, now Argos-Shimano), with the identical Queen stage to the 2012 race taken by Daniel Martin (then Garmin-Cervélo, now Garmin-Barracuda).

Tour de Pologne/Tour of Poland (WT)

Stages
July 10th - stage 1: Golebiewski Karpacz to Jelenia Gora, 179.5km 
July 11th - stage 2: Walbrzych to Opole, 239.4km
July 12th - stage 3: Kedzierzyn-Kozle to Cieszyn, 201.7km
July 13th - stage 4: Bedzin to Katowice, 127.8km
July 14th - stage 5: Rabka-Zdroj to Zakopane, 163.1km
July 15th - stage 6: Bukowina Terma Hotel spa to Bukowina Tatrzanska, 191.8km
July 16th - stage 7: Krakow to Krakow, km 131.4km

Invited teams

WorldTour ProTeams
AG2R La Mondiale
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Euskaltel-Euskadi
FDJ-BigMat
Garmin-Barracuda
GreenEdge Cycling Team
Katusha Team
Lampre-ISD
Liquigas-Cannondale
Lotto-Belisol Team
Movistar
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team
Rabobank
RadioShack-Nissan
Sky Procycling
Team Saxo Bank
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling

Professional Continental Teams
Argos-Shimano
Caja Rural
Colnago-CSF Inox
Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
Team Type1-Sanofi
Utensilnord Named

National Teams
Polska National Team

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