The Tour de Pologne is to include more climbing, and be generally harder in 2012 with race organiser Czeslaw Lang revealing several key details of this year's course to whet the appetite of fans and riders before the full route is announced early next month. Lang says the course will keep much of its 'familiar balance', but responding to claims from riders of the race being too easy, has been toughened things up this year.
"We can say that once again this year we've done what we could to design a technical and spectacular route with a good balance between mountain stages for attackers and men going for the general classification, and stages dedicated to the sprinters," said Lang. "We also plan to have a few more difficult stages at the start of the race, rather than deciding things on the final few days."
Historically the Tour de Pologne has featured several flat days, with a time trial and single hard 'queen stage' the only decisive days for the general classification. According to Lang the course will again be based largely out of the south of the country, but will be including several new peaks. Continuing with tradition, the Zakopane and Bukowina Tatrzanska have been maintained in the 2012 race, as has the seven stage format.
"Again this year the route will cover the southern central part of the country, which is where there are the most mountains," explains Lang. "We would always like to bring the race to all the cities, we always have a lot of requests and this makes us very happy, but unfortunately it isn't possible; Poland has a vast territory; this is why we try to rotate, edition after edition, to try to touch as many different areas of the country as we can."
The Tour de Pologne covers 1100 kilometres in 2012, starting in Karpacz on July 10 and finishing in Krakow on the 16th. 2012 is the first time the race has been run during the Tour de France, with the broadcast conflict with this year's London Olympic Games prompting the change.