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The glamorous life of a Pro eh? Last weekend champagne in Paris, this weekend Warszaw and more 30° heat!

Yes, it’s the Tour of Poland which may slip under the radar of many after the mass media coverage which the Tour de France gets, but this is a full on UCI Pro Tour race with all of the big teams sending riders.

As a part of the UCI’s flagship ProTour series, the eighteen ProTour teams have received automatic invitations, with a further five allocated to teams eligible under the UCI wildcard system. Sky, HTC, Garmin and Astana will all be on the start line ready for 7 stages of what look to be very tough riding. Two of the wildcard invitations have been awarded to the Cervélo Test Team and the BMC Racing Team for Ballan to try and defend his title.

Poland:

A relatively unknown country for bike racing, it sits at the top of mainland Europe and has coast, lakes and mountains making it perfect for professional cycle racing!

  • The Polish Baltic coast is 528 kilometres long.
  • Poland has one of the highest number of lakes in the world. In Europe, only Finland has a greater density of lakes.
  • 21 mountains over 2,000 metres high.
  • The first Tour was held in 1928.
  • Until the early 1993, the race was open for amateur cyclists only and most of its winners came from Poland.
  • First winner: Felix Więcek.
  • Last years winner: Alessandro Ballan.

You can’t ignore Poland’s past and the 2010 edition of the Polish race will feature a start of a stage from  Oswiecim, “The City of Peace”  close to where the occupying troops decided to build the Auschwitz concentration camp – a concentration camp which has since become a sad icon of the Holocaust in the international collective memory.


The 6th stage, scheduled for Friday August 6th which takes place on the roads from Oswiecim to Bukowina Tatrzanska over a total distance of more than 240 km, will be an important occasion to render homage  to the victims of this sad page from history. This stage will be very difficult, with the stage finish taking place on a climb. It promises to be the hardest stage in the 2010 edition and most probably will determine who will be the winner of this year’s Tour de Pologne.

Other Stages:

STAGE 5:

This also looks to be the another worst/best of the stages, 5 reps of an approx 320m climb with a final 460m climb up to the finish! Not a bad day’s climbing!


We’re always on the look out for new fans and the Tour of Poland hasn’t disappointed, for 2010 we have Pola:

Figures for the 2010 TdP:

  • 2,000,000 spectators.
  • 14,000 water bottles used.
  • 400 cities and towns visited.
  • 50 vehicles in the caravan.
  • 7km of advertising banners.
  • Last but not least 700kg of pasta eaten by the teams!

The race finishes the following Saturday in the capital Warsaw after 164km of another tough stage (no prancing around like at the TdF here!). A pan flat last 3km should ensure a hectic finish and the sprinters teams will all be jostling for that final win.

So if you ever needed an excuse to get over the sad loss that the end of the Tour de France brings us all, then this is the one for you. It may not be as glamorous as some of its better known cousins, but professional cycling is professional cycling and there are points, honour and bragging rights up for grabs, so expect nothing less than 100% from everyone concerned.

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