The Tour of Poland has had a pretty black edge in recent years, with the accident of Bjorg Lambrecht and the heavy crash of Fabio Jakobsen. This year, the organization hopes that the sporty weather will prevail in the 79th edition of the stage race.
The Tour of Poland celebrates its 79th edition this year. For the very first edition, we have to go back almost a hundred years, to 1928. After regaining independence in 1918, after rebuilding the ruins of the First World War, in the form of the Second Polish Republic, the idea of a national cycling tour. Cycling as a connecting factor between city and countryside, between old and new Poland. With this in mind, the very first edition of the Tour of Poland was organized in 1928.
However, we can speak of a bumpy start-up phase, as the race initially did not get off the ground. Until the Second World War. The race was initially a showdown between the best amateurs in Poland and beyond. This remained so until the early 1990s: not entirely surprising, then, that most of the winners came from the home country.
In 1993, however, a new start was made under the leadership of former professional cyclist Czesław Lang. Under Lang, who is still at the helm almost thirty years later, the round managed to catch up and it even grew into a WorldTour race. This is also reflected in the honors list. Since 2005, it has become a lot more international: Kim Kirchen, Jens Voigt, Alessandro Ballan, Dan Martin, Peter Sagan and Moreno Moser were once allowed to take a seat on the highest scaffold as the final winner. Rafał Majka, Ion Izagirre, Michał Kwiatkowski and Pavel Sivakov have also been successful in the last decade.
With 52 victories, home country Poland is the most successful country on the honors list. Michał Kwiatkowski (in 2018) and Rafał Majka (2014) took care of the most recent overall victories. Belgium is a close second, with the winners Roger Diercken and Andre Delcroix in the sixties and seventies and the recent laureates Johan Vansummeren (2007), Tim Wellens (2016), Dylan Teuns (2017) and Remco Evenepoel, who won the yellow jersey in 2020. took home. Pieter Weening is currently the only Dutch winner of the Tour of Poland. De Fries, who ended his career two years ago, won in 2013.
Record winners are Marian Więckowski, Andrzej Mierzejewski and Dariusz Baranoswki with three overall victories, and they will remain so for a while. Among the still active riders in the peloton, we currently only find single winners.
Another fun fact: Ryszard Szurkowski has fifteen stage victories to his name and is therefore the record holder. Of the still active riders, Pascal Ackermann – again this year in Poland – is the most successful in terms of daily successes, but with four victories he is still far from the record of the illustrious Pole who died at the beginning of last year. After Ackermann, Peter Sagan, absent this year and André Greipel, who has since retired, have the most stage wins to their name; both the Slovak and the German won three times in the Polish stage race.
Last ten winners Tour of Poland
2021: flag-ptJoão Almeida
2020: flag-beRemco Evenepoel
2019: flag-ruPavel Sivakov
2018: flag-plMichał Kwiatkowski
2017: flag-beDylan Teuns
2016: flag-beTim Wellens
2015: flag-esIon Izagirre
2014: flag-plRafał Majka
2013: flag-nlPieter Weening
2012: flag itMoreno Moser
All Times Are In Belgium Time
Tuesday August 2, stage 4: Lesko – Sanok (179.4 km)
Also on day four the climbing is blown and something could possibly happen for the general classification. After the riders have left Lesko, there are three mountain sprints waiting after 48, 103 and 147 kilometers respectively, but it actually goes up and down all day. The top of the final climb (4.8km at 6%) is well under fifteen kilometers from the end, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be straight forward to the finish line.
After a first acquaintance with the finish city of Sanok, there is still a small loop of about seven kilometers in and around the city. The devil is in the tail again, because in the last kilometer the riders are treated to a cunning climb. With 700 meters to go, the road starts to climb with a maximum peak of 8% just before the finish. In the last hundred meters the weather flattens out, but that is more something for the percentage fetishists.
Start: 12.30 pm
Finish: between 4.30 pm and 5 pm
Wednesday 3 August, stage 5: Łańcut – Rzeszów (178.1 km)
Last year the stage to Rzeszów was the longest of the round with 226.4 kilometers, now the course designers opt for a route of 178.1 kilometers. We do have to mention that about a difficult course. There are already some climbs early in the ride, which do not count for the mountains classification. A little further along the course, there are two slopes, with the top at 64 and 31 kilometers from the finish respectively.
The big question is whether the sprinters can hook up their wagon, and then be able to check everything before that (possible) mass sprint. Then they have to survive an uncategorized climb (2 km at a good 4%) at more than ten kilometers from the finish. With 19 kilometers to go, the riders can already explore the finish.
Thor Hushovd, Theo Bos and Danny van Poppel, among others, already won the Tour of Poland in Rzeszów, just like Olav Kooij in the Orlen Nations GP of 2020.
Start: 12.30 pm
Finish: between 4.25 pm and 4.50 pm
Thursday August 4, stage 6: Gronków – Stacji Narciarskiej Rusiński (11.8 km, ITT)
On the penultimate day, the decision will be made in this Tour of Poland. The riders will have to pull themselves inside out in a ‘half climb time trial’ of just under twelve kilometers. The starting point is the town of Gronków, which is located at an altitude of 650 meters. The first kilometers of the time trial are still manageable, but from kilometer post five the more serious climbing starts towards Bukowina Tatrzańska.
Percentages of 5 to 6% are interspersed with outliers of up to 12%. With two kilometers to go, there is a short descent towards the last, slightly ascending kilometer. After the arrival of the last rider, we will most likely know who will win the 79th edition of the Tour of Poland.
Start (first rider): 1.29 PM
Finish (last rider): around 4.40 PM
Friday August 5, stage 7: Valsir – Krakow (177.8 km)
The last day covers a distance of 177.8 kilometers from Valsir to Krakow. The second largest city in Poland after Warsaw. The riders will face three more classified climbs, but after the last serious climb to Gmina Budzów it is still almost 140 kilometers to go. The final in Krakow is on a local lap of five kilometers. Which must be completed three times. The finish is tailor-made for the sprinters.
Start: 2.35 pm
Finish: between 6.25 pm and 6.50 pm