Poland headed by Martin and Basso

August slot gains stage race attention

Ireland's Daniel Martin (Garmin-Slipstream) and Italy's Ivan Basso (Liquigas) will challenge for the Tour de Pologne overall next week. The seven-day stage race starts Sunday in Warsaw, moved forward a month to its new August time slot.

Martin has proven to be strong this year with a second overall in the Volta a Catalunya in June. Basso finished fifth overall in May's Giro d'Italia, which he won in 2006.

There are three stages for the climbers and four the sprinters, totaling 1158.5 kilometres. Warsaw's circuit race stage and the next three are for the sprinters. Climbs mark the final three stages, including Friday's stage to Zakopane, which ascends the Glodowka four times.

There are 18 ProTour teams plus Vacansoleil, ISD and Poland's BGZ. The full list of riders will come Saturday, and will include World Champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC).

Last year's winner Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) is unable to start because of his crash in the Tour de France.

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