The 2012 Tour of Poland could be held at the same time as the Tour de France in order to avoid the London Olympic Games, organiser Czeslaw Lang has told Cyclingnews.
“We’ve asked the UCI if it’s possible to move the dates,” he said. “Because of the TV coverage, it's impossible to have the race at the same time as the Olympics.”
The London 2012 Olympics will be held from July 27 to August 12, with the men’s road on July 28.
By anticipating the date of the race, the Tour of Poland would be held the same time as the Tour de France, which will start on 30 June from Liège and end on July 22. If the UCI approves the new July date, the Tour of Poland could be an attractive alternative for riders targeting the Olympics.
“The race would be held during the last week of the Tour de France,” Lang said. Provisional dates for the seven-day race would be Sunday July 15 to Saturday July 21.
Lang is obviously not perturbed about his race being run in the shadow of the Tour de France.
“There's no rivalry between our races. The Tour de France might even help the Tour of Poland to be known all around the world.” he said.
As many of the Tour of Poland stages finish at around 7:00pm CET, it would be possible to watch the action from Poland after the finish of the Tour de France stages. The Tour of Poland organiser suggested that holding two WorldTour events could have other benefits.
“The WorldTour teams have at least 25 riders and so have the capacity to race on two fronts. The Tour of Poland would be a great opportunity for the riders who usually have little chance to race during the Tour de France.”
The 2012 Tour of Poland race route hasn’t been made official yet. “But it'll be very similar to this year’s route”, Lang said.
The 2011 course was almost the same as 2010 too but perhaps "a bit easier", according to Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo), who finished second this year.
The race began in Warsaw, the country's capital, and then headed to Katowice in central Poland and known for its former coal mines. The key stages were held in the South, in the Tatras Mountains, and the race finished in Krakow, the cultural capital.
The 2012 route had expected to explore the north of the country, but the cities that hosted the race this year insisted it returns again in 2012.
While a start outside of Poland is still a possibility, Lang said it won't happen before 2013. The Trentino region, in Italy, where a lot of Polish people travel for skiing holidays, and which is a current Tour of Poland sponsor, remains a strong candidate to host the start of the race.