Route details announced in Warsaw
The 69th Tour de Pologne was presented today in Warsaw, with details on the seven stages in which 25 teams of 9 riders each will compete. The 1234.7 kilometre WorldTour race kicks off in Karpacz with a hilly circuit on July 10 and concludes with a flat circuit in Krakow on July 16.
"It all starts off from Karpacz, 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," said Tour de Pologne director Czeslaw Lang.
A 240km long second stage, some flatter sprinter-friendly stages and mountainous days near the end of the race were all designed with Olympic Games preparation in mind.
"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," Lang said.
"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."
The organisers expanded the field to 25 teams of 8 riders this year, choosing all WorldTour teams, the Polish national team and six wild cards from the Professional Continental ranks.
Colnago-CSF Bardiani, Caja Rural and Team Type 1-Sanofi are joined by Argos-Shimano, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia and Utensilnord Named on the start list.
2012 Tour de Pologne stages
Stage 1: Golebiewski Karpacz – Jelenia Gora. 179.5km
Stage 2: Walbrzych – Opole. 239.4 km
Stage 3: Kedzierzyn-Kozle – Cieszyn. 201.7km
Stage 4: Bedzin – Katowice. 127.8km
Stage 5: Rabka-Zdroj – Zakopane. 163.1km
Stage 6: Bukowina Terma Hotel spa – Bukowina Tatrzanska. 191.8km
Stage 7: Krakow – Krakow. 131.4km
More information: www.tourdepologne.pl