The 2022 edition of the Tour de Pologne will be the 22nd time the race has featured on the WorldTour calendar, coming in its traditional slot between the end of the Tour de France and start of the Vuelta a España. Last year João Almeida won the overall title for Deceuninck-QuickStep by 20 seconds over Bahrain Victorious' Matej Mohorič.
This year the race will cover 1,213 kilometres over seven days, slightly longer than 2021. Organisers announced last fall that the overall start would begin for the first time in Kielce. The 218.8km route is one for the sprinters, but does include 1,700 metres of elevation gain and a challenging 4% gradient in the final 300 metres in Lublin.
Stage 2 is 205.6km from Chełm to Zamość, with three three intermediate sprints along the route, and a pair of categorised climbs. Once the peloton reaches Zamość, they will have to complete a 9km circuit for the finish in the city, known as the ‘pearl of the Renaissance’.
The third stage will start in Kraśnik for the longest route of the week, 237.9km, to Przemyśl. The finish line in Przemyśl, which was the finale for stage 2 last year, is steep with gradients of 14 to 15% in the city centre. But before that spectacular conclusion, the peloton will be hit with three consecutive categorised climbs, bunched 15km apart, with the final climb just 22km from the finish.
Stage 4 will set out from the medieval town of Lesko, located near the San River. The 179.4km route leads through the Sanocko-Turczańskie mountains with plenty of climbing, and descending, on the docket, including three second-category KOMs. The first climb at Czarna Góra comes 48.5km into the day, followed by a series of rollers that flow for 50 more kilometres to the Arłamów Hotel ascent. There is a huge descent to the second intermediate sprint to follow, then at the third KOM in Leszczawa another uncategorised challenge sits in the way of the final 33km to the finish.
After a start in the shadow of the large baroque castle in Łańcut, stage 5 continues for 178.1km toward Rzeszów. Along the way at Dynów there will be both an intermediate sprint and a third-category climb. The final 19km features a circuit around Rzeszów with the final KOM of the day.
The penultimate stage is an individual time trial from Szaflary to Ski Station Rusiński. The route is short at 15.4km, but demanding as most of the 415 metres of elevation gain is packed between klimetres four and 11.
The seventh and final day of racing for the Tour de Pologne takes place in its traditional location at Kraków. This time the riders will start from the headquarters of Italian company Valsir in Skawina. The start and the finish lines are not far from each other on a map, but the route takes the peloton across 177.8 hilly kilometres to reach what could be a decisive sprint finish.
There are a pair of tightly-packed categorised climbs on the southward loop from the start line, a category 1 at Bieńkówka and then less than 6km later a category 3 at Budzów. Those two climbs are sandwiched between the final intermediate sprints of the race, in Lanckorona and Myślenice. The stage will finish with a trio of 5km circuits and then on the fourth round the winner will be crowned at Kraków.
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