2015 Tour de Pologne was presented today in Warsaw. The 72nd edition will take place from August 2-8 and follows a balanced route with three flat stages, two days in the mountains and a final time trial.
The race kicks off from the capital of Poland with a 122km flat stage on the streets of Warsaw. A similar scenario awaits over the next two days as the peloton heads south for short stages into Dabrowa Gornicza and Katowice, with finishes on city centre circuits giving an opportunity for the sprinters to shine.
Stage 4 is a 220km marathon on the hilly roads of Lesser Poland, featuring three climbs and leading into one of region's oldest towns – Nowy Sacz. The last ascent of the stage is situated 37 kilometres from the finish line, making the job harder for attackers but also making it a tough day in the office for teams wishing to control the race and deliver sprinters to the local laps.
The peloton will pass through Zegartowice, the home village of last year's winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) who, up to the point, has not confirmed his title defence.
Riders enter the mountains of southern Poland on stage 5, tackling eight categorized climbs before a short uphill finish in Zakopane. The climb of Gubalowka has been introduced and will be ascended on three occasions in a 223km stage, alongside the steep ascent of Zab and "the hill of hunger", Glodowka.
The race hits more steep climbs in Bukowina on the penultimate day. Four tough laps with the climbs of Zab, Sciana Bukowina and Bukowina Tatrzanska mark the queen stage of the race and will be, as during last four editions, the final call for climbers before the final time trial in Krakow.
A 25km flat stage concludes a week of racing in Poland, paying a visit to Krakow, once a stronghold of Polish kings and the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1569.
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) won Tour de Pologne last year, prevailing on two mountain stages and holding off the charges from two Movistar Team riders – Ion Izagirre and Benat Intxausti – who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
2015 Tour de Pologne route:
Stage 1: Warszawa – Warszawa (122 km)
Stage 2: Czestochowa – Dabrowa Gornicza (146 km)
Stage 3: Zawiercie – Katowice (166 km)
Stage 4: Jaworzno – Nowy Sacz (220 km)
Stage 5: Nowy Sacz – Zakopane (223 km)
Stage 6: Bukovina Terma Hotel Spa – Bukowina Tatrzanska (174 km)
Stage 7: Krakow – Krakow (25 km, ITT)