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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: search on July 28, 2017, 18:05

Title: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on July 28, 2017, 18:05
Tour de Pologne

There are 7 stages scheduled for the 74 th edition of the Tour de Pologne. It all starts on Saturday, July 29th, with the Grand Depart from Krakow, historical and cultural capital of Poland, with an in-line stage suited to sprinters. The final finish line will be crossed on Friday, August 4th, after plenty of climbing on the gruelling Bukowina Tatrzanska circuit, in the heart of the Tatra Mountains.

29/07 stage I, Krakow – Krakow, 137 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e1-5.jpg)

30/07 stage II, Tarnowskie Gory – Katowice, 146 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e2-5.jpg)

31/07 stage III, Jaworzno – Szczyrk, 161 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e3-5.jpg)

01/08 stage IV, Zawiercie – Zabrze, 238 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e4-5.jpg)

02/08 stage V, Olimp Nagawczyna – Rzeszow, 130 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e5-5.jpg)

03/08 stage VI, Kopalnia Soli “Wieliczka” – Zakopane, 199 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e6-5.jpg)

04/08 stage VII, Bukovina Resort – Bukowina Tatrzanska, 132.5 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e7-5.jpg)

Additional to the 18 World Tour teams #novonordisk Novo Nordisk, #gazprom Gazprom Rusvelo, #ccc CCC Sprandi Polkowice and the #teampl Polish National Team were invited to participate. Each team will consist of 7 riders only.

The official startlist is available here (http://tdp.infocity.pl/lista_startowa.asp?lng=pl)
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on July 28, 2017, 19:29
Quote
31/07 stage III, Jaworzno – Szczyrk, 161 km
(http://www.tourdepologne.pl/wp-content/uploads/2017/etapy/e3-5.jpg)

this one is new:

There won’t be the final time trial, but instead the last leg will be entirely in the mountains, with the two hardest stages in Zakopane and Bukowina Tatrzanska. In the first part there will also be space for the sprinters, but in the third stage there is already a never-before-seen arrival, on a stretch featuring gradients up to 20%, which could turn out to be a launching pad for anyone who wants to try and fire up the race,” explains General Director for the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang.
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Mellow Velo on July 28, 2017, 20:54
As UK Eurosport coverage is a bit hit and miss and I haven't checked the rest of Europe.

For the live tv coverage times, as they do vary.  TVP 1:-

http://www.teleman.pl/program-tv/stacje/TVP-1?date=2017-07-29

Free stream for TVP 1

http://www.freeintertv.com/view/id-2689/Poland-1-0-1


If anyone can find a TVP Sport feed though, that has coverage of the starting kms, plus around 3 hours live each day.
They also have live coverage of both the mountain stages, from start to finish.

Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Echoes on July 29, 2017, 09:33
I feel forced to post on this thread for a reminder of Tim Wellens’ incredible achievement in 2016! :) AG stamped me a fanboy, so I need to feed my reputation. And this race is where it all started for me. ;)

Of course by the year end the Tour of Poland was not considered Tim’s greatest achievement of the year because of the Tour of Poland’s relatively depleted field – though Michal Kwiatkowski (2016 being one of the worst years of his career thus far), Enrico Battaglin, Philippe Gilbert, Zdenek Stybar, Primoz Roglic or Bob Jungels were at the start. Both journalists and Tim himself rated his stage win at Paris-Nice higher as he outsprinted Contador and Porte over the Col d’Eze but the way he won that Tour of Poland and the 6th stage Wieliczka – Zakopane (225km) had something unique or at least unseen for long.

3’48” was his lead on the 2nd (Davide Formolo), 4’37” on the 3rd his own teammate Tiesj Benoot after an at least 61km long breakaway, including the last 45 of them solo (Alberto Bettiol was the last to keep up with him, future 2nd to Oliver Naesen at Plouay). Such gaps in a single day are gaps of another era, back to Bernard Hinault’s era and even back then it was hard to create such big gaps in one day on a race of such standard. Of course the extreme stormy and cold weather helped discriminating between the good and the very best riders but still it was an incredible achievement.

That weather also added to the epic aspect of the race, epic in the primary sense of the word! (a word that has been sullied in recent years but I really think it’s fitting here). 85 riders called it quit! I watched a replay of it later on Youtube, a video clip that has since been suppressed. At some point the video was recorded in my “resume watching” videos. I made a print screen of it because the picture I found so “epic” (sorry for repeating the word).

(http://www.zupimages.net/up/17/30/nw7f.png)

I don’t know if you can see the “retro” aspect in that picture. The waterlogged road, Tim’s black short, the beautiful Lotto-Soudal with hardly any sponsors on it and most of all this impression of loneliness! The champion, all alone, heading towards his destiny! The “Lonesome Cowboy”! No spectator on the roadside, no motorbikes around him and of course no opponents, all far behind!

This really was when Tim Wellens’ reputation as a “rainman” was firmly established, given that a fortnight later he would suffer martyrdom in the heat of the Rio Olympics and never recovered his form of the Tour of Poland before the 2017 season start. It’s now known that he cannot race at his best under heat. A bit like Charly Gaul in the good old days made his greatest solo raid under rain or snow storms while not getting forward under extreme heat.

https://twitter.com/FlorisGerts/status/754367323436384256

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cnf96ALWEAUZ9pO.jpg)


Credit to Search for this last picture and tweet ;)


-----------------------------------------


By the way I'm very interested in this Polish national team. It seems like this trend is getting back. Probably the team mainly consists of young prospects or are there experienced pros in it? I didn't realise that at the Elfstedenronde there was a Dutch national team beside the Belgian one but no real stars were in, with all respect to these riders.


Also the drop of the ITT is really demoting the race in my opinion. I know that it's hard to organise such an event but the ITT is the ultimate test in pro cycling. A race in which you can hardly cheat. You cannot draft wheels. It's for the very best riders. When you have none, it's hard to reward a complete rider. Of course races such as the Tour of Wallonia or the Four Days of Dunkirk do not have any ITT either, which I deplore but they are not suppose to be high standard stage races. Just some build-ups. No ITT for a so-called World Tour stage race is a real shame. Just like very short ITT's for supposed GT are demoting the said GT's.  ;)
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: LukasCPH on July 29, 2017, 09:52
By the way I'm very interested in this Polish national team. It seems like this trend is getting back. Probably the team mainly consists of young prospects or are there experienced pros in it? I didn't realise that at the Elfstedenronde there was a Dutch national team beside the Belgian one but no real stars were in, with all respect to these riders.
A Polish national team has been invited to the race ever since 2005, when it was elevated to ProTour status. Since there were no Polish pro teams and (back then) not that many Polish pro riders either, this was seen as a way to ensure some local participation.
The riders were and are picked among the Poles racing on Continental level - and the average often is quite high, actually: 28.9 years this year. Now 36-year old Marek Rutkiewicz (with Cofidis in the early 2000s, then disappeared to Poland when he was suspected of doping) is a mainstay of the team and has been selected most years (except when he rode for PCT #ccc). The youngest rider selected this year is 25-year old Paweł Franczak.

So this national team is less of a "give the young talents some WT experience" and more of a "give the old geezers who aren't good enough to be pro a season highlight". ;)
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on July 30, 2017, 23:24
I missed most of the first two stages, but it seems it like it came to the kinda expected (a bit chaotic) sprints anyway:




Danny van Poppel leads the race... until tomorrow, when it should be more interesting. Here is an interactive profile:

https://www.la-flamme-rouge.eu/maps/viewtrack/hd/139923

so ~12% average for the final km it is
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: t-72 on August 01, 2017, 11:59
Picking up where Echoes left off, I am only posting this to allow myself to rent about one of my favorite riders' good results:
Quite odd that he comes across as #fdj GC rider in a WT race after they reportedly have decided to part ways because some in #fdj thinks "he occupies too much space".


Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Echoes on August 01, 2017, 21:38
What do you mean by "where Echoes left off", T-72? No offence, though.
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: t-72 on August 02, 2017, 00:12
It was mostly about doing the work necessary to keep my fanboy status intact too. You're not the only one around here  :D  Eiking is a local rider  :cool
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on August 02, 2017, 08:27
after missing out twice, little Caleb took a convincing win on day #4 then:

(http://atcommunication.cc/i/uploads/19757/p/IMG_6316.png)



today's stage could end up either way I guess. The Lany climb with ~10k is very short (~1,2km), but with the final 800m at 11% average it could very well turn out to be a problem for the sprinter teams.

Also that series of climbs earlier on is a tough one. Here is an interactive profile of the finish (via @raffilpt):

Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: t-72 on August 02, 2017, 11:44
...
today's stage could end up either way I guess. The Lany climb with ~10k is very short (~1,2km), but with the final 800m at 11% average it could very well turn out to be a problem for the sprinter teams.

Also that series of climbs earlier on is a tough one. ....

I guess it qualifies as a "short intense" stage with only 130 km. In GT's that would usually be a mountain stage but here it is a hilly one. We could see some more endurance-oriented hillclimbers try to put a lot of lactic acid into Peter Sagan. Could that be #bmc Dylan Teuns? #bahrain Nibali?
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on August 02, 2017, 12:12
yeah, I think so, potentially it could be very interesting - but with the two hardest stages to come tomorrow and the day after... I fear not
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: t-72 on August 02, 2017, 17:28
Search was right, in the end it was a sprint from a very small group, but it would have been more or less ordinary bunch sprint if not some Cannondale-Drapac  rider slipped at one of the last 90 degree turns and stopped everyone behind. The Sky train leading out van Poppel was more or less entirely in front of the crash, and alone in being so - and that's the short version.  Looking at the results quite a few  riders was actually dropped before this, and that included #cannondale Tom-Jelte Slagter who is now out of contention for the GC, with #fdj Odd Christian Eiking moving up to fifth place.   :cool
#bora Sagan increased his gap by a few bonus seconds once again!



Seems I will not be able to watch the next few stages, so what's left for me is hoping #fdj Eiking remains in the top 10 for the two next stages. It will be hard, cause there are a lot of hills tomorrow!
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on August 03, 2017, 08:14
today's finishing circuit around Zakopane, via @raffilpt:

Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Iceman on August 04, 2017, 08:52

Great win for Jack Haig, who attacked on the penultimate climb and then increased his advantage.

GC
(http://i.imgur.com/zmuZp9B.jpg)
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on August 04, 2017, 10:36
Teuns lookes very vulnerable yesterday... let's see if he can hang on...

today's finish, via @raffilpt

Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: search on August 04, 2017, 11:03
there's a ~50% chance of rain by the way... could be a day for Spilak?! :P
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: hiero on August 05, 2017, 01:15
So Teuns hangs in there to hold the #yellow by the skin of his teeth. And Sagan puts on a show of strength. I've posted a bit more re Sagan today in the Sagan fanboy thread.
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Mellow Velo on August 05, 2017, 08:07
 Have to say that the final two stages produced some cracking racing, as tactical plans were played out.
Teuns looked dead and buried on the penultimate climb, only to come back strong on the finishing hill.
The crowds too were spectacular, making for a great atmosphere.
Title: Re: Tour de Pologne
Post by: Not My Circus on August 05, 2017, 08:55
Have to say that the final two stages produced some cracking racing, as tactical plans were played out.
Teuns looked dead and buried on the penultimate climb, only to come back strong on the finishing hill.
The crowds too were spectacular, making for a great atmosphere.

I agree, thoroughly enjoyed the whole race and especially the final stages. Teuns really gutsed it out and BMC (esp Tejay) were impressive in support. The shortened stages**, the seven man teams, the parcours, the fervent fans and those trophies.... More like this please.

** why they put in the monster over 200km I have no idea, the race didn't need it. Neither did I miss a TT