Poland hopes to host road Worlds

The final podium at the Tour of Poland (l-r): Daniel Martin, Peter Sagan, Marco Marcato

The final podium at the Tour of Poland (l-r): Daniel Martin, Peter Sagan, Marco Marcato (Image credit: Riccardo Scanferla)

Following the success of the 68th Tour of Poland, organiser Czeslaw Lang hopes his country can host the road cycling world championships in a middle term perspective.

"It's my dream," Lang told Cyclingnews, Saturday, on the final day of his race in Krakow.

Poland has never hosted a road world championship since the competition's creation in 1921. Only two editions have happened in Eastern Europe: 1928, in Budapest (Hungary) and 1981, in Prague (Czechoslovakia).

Lang, a vice-Olympic Champion in 1980 and the first Polish rider to have turned professional, thinks his compatriots "are ready for the world championships". He has observed that "there more and more people every year" along the parcours of his race.

"The last stages of this year's Tour of Poland could offer a great parcours for the world championships," Lang says. Alongside stage 7 in Krakow, Poland's cultural capital, stage 5 around Zakopane could be ideal for such an event.

The 40.3km undulating circuit, dominated this year by Peter Sagan after a small bunch sprint, is famous in the country as the Tour of Poland has organised several road stages and time trials there in the last decades.

Based in southern Poland, in the Tatras Mountains, Zakopane is the main ski resort in the country. The town, very ambitious, has led several campaigns to host the Winter Olympics and still hopes to attain that goal.

For his part the "Team Lang" company has experience with UCI events. It works not only on the Tour of Poland but also on some championships: the European road championships, in Kielce (2000) and the track world championships, in Pruszkow (2009).

Lang said, however, he needs "to talk to the Polish cycling federation" about his projects.

Happy to see his race improving, he's careful though. "On the cyclosportive that we organised on stage 6, there were 1.500 participants, two times more than last year," he said. "It shows cycling is growing in Poland. But it's still in a development phase. Teams, organisers, riders: we will all have a lot to learn."

The trigger for an official road world championship candidature could be the emergence of "a big Polish rider in the next few years, or even better: the creation of a Polish WordTour team," Lang said.

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