The Tour of Poland 2013 will start with two stages in Italy next July, the first time it has kicked off so far from the country's borders since eastern Europe's premier event started back in 1928.
Starts such a long way from the host nation for a cycling tour are fairly normal for three-week events, but given the logistical implications are virtually an unprecedented move for a week-long stage race.
The eight day event will start with two stages in the Trentino region - where a local company, Trentino Marketing is one of the race sponsors of the Tour of Poland - before returning to the southern city of Krakow inside Poland. where the third stage begins.
"To celebrate this important milestone the organisers have decided to start off from Italy, a country that we consider a close friend," a press release said on Monday. Apart from the close sponsor links with the Trentino regions, historically Italians have always shone in the Polish event: this year's race was won by an Italian, Moreno Moser and curiously enough it's first ever non-Polish winner was also an Italian - Francesco Locatelli back in 1949.
After a year in which Poland began much earlier than usual, running from July 10th - 16th because of the Olympic Games, in 2013 it will begin on July 27th and finish on August 3rd. More details will be released in a press conference on Wednesday in Krakow.
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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