This Monday, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will participate to its first Tour de Pologne (2.WT, 9-15/8). The 78th edition of the race starts on Lublin’s Castle Square and concludes in Krakow’s Blonia Park next Sunday. In seven stages, the Tour of Poland crosses four provinces in the southern part of the country. Only two of seven stages are rather flat: the 19 kilometer time trial through the historical centre of Krakow on the penultimate day and the 143 kilometer final stage. The five preceding stages are demanding and filled with short and middle long hills. This Tour of Poland is also marked by uphill finishes: stage 1 in Chelm, stage 2 in Przemyśl (1.5km at 8%), stage 4 in Bukowina Resort (1.9km at 7.3%) and stage 5 in Bielsko-Biala. Punchers and climbers will receive many opportunities. The organization also offers variety in the length of the courses. With the first three stages being longer than 200 kilometer, the final stage is only 143 kilometer. The successor of Remco Evenepoel will be known after this apotheosis in Krakow next Sunday.
The selection of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is composed of five different nationalities. Dutch rider Taco van der Hoorn and Italians Andrea Pasqualon and Lorenzo Rota participated at this Tour de Pologne before. Rota is recovered from his crash in the final of the Clasica San Sebastian which took away his podium chances. At the same time of this Clasica San Sebastian, Georg Zimmermann was victorious in the Tour de l’Ain. The German rider is also in great shape, just like Belgian riders Quinten Hermans and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. Finally, Biniam Girmay Hailu will make his debut for the Belgian team. Sport directors Hilaire Van der Schueren and Steven De Neef will travel from the Sazka Tour to Poland to guide the team.
Tour de Pologne:
Stage 1 (09/08): Lublin – Chełm (216,4km)
Stage 2 (10/08): Zamość – Przemyśl (200,8km)
Stage 3 (11/08): Sanok – Rzeszów (226,4km)
Stage 4 (12/08): Tarnów – Bukovina Resort (159,9km)
Stage 5 (13/08): Chochołów, Gmina Czarny Dunajec – Bielsko-Biała (172,8km)
Stage 6 (14/08): Katowice – Katowice (19,1 km) (= ITT)
Stage 7 (15/08): Zabrze – Kraków (145,1km)
Biniam Ghirmay Hailu
Taco van der Hoorn
Hilaire Van der Schueren
Steven De Neef