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by Shane Stokes
December 17, 2015
Photography by ATCommunication-TDP
As was the case in 2012, the Tour de Pologne has been forced to change the dates of the race in order to avoid a clash with the Olympic road race and time trial.
As a result, the WorldTour event will clash with the Tour de France but, according to its organiser, this is not a major issue.
“The same thing happened in 2012, when there were the London Games, and it was absolutely no problem,” said Czeslaw Lang. “The Tour de France is and always will be the most important race in the world.
“However, the World Tour teams have the resources to line up competitive squads on several fronts at the same time.”
In fact, Lang sees the date shift as potentially a big positive for the event. “By anticipating the date the Tour de Pologne will become the last, short, high-level stage race before the Olympics.
“Poland can be a valid alternative for all those riders and teams who can’t take part in the Grande Boucle, or who prefer to take on a one week stage race in order to finish training for the big event in Rio.”
The 2016 edition, which is the 73rd, will be held between July 12 and 18. It took place this season between August 2 and 8, thus avoiding the Tour.
Jon Izagirre (Movistar) triumphed overall, beating Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal) and Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team) by two and three seconds respectively.
“The Olympic bicycling road races are scheduled between August 6 and 10,” said Lang, speaking about the decision.
“Therefore, since Tour de Pologne is usually held in the first week in August, moving the dates was the only logical thing to do, to avoid coinciding with the most important world sporting event which happens only once every four years.”
Lang also confirmed that the first women’s Tour de Pologne will be held next season, running from July 18 to 20. This will become part of the new women’s WorldTour calendar.