Tour de Pologne 2019 unveils ultra-tough new summit finish
13 April 2019 10:50
The Tour de Pologne 2019 route has been unveiled this week, with the new highlight set to be an ultra-steep summit finish on stage four that could prove to be a key element in the GC battle for Eastern Europe’s most prestigious bike race. The ascent, already dubbed the “Wall of Kocierz” is only two kilometres long, but has a middle section averaging 18 percent and several segments at over 20 percent. It has never previously been used in the Tour de Pologne, now set to celebrate its 76th edition this summer. Time differences in the Tour de Pologne between the favourites on GC tend to be minimal and in 2019 there is once again, as is increasingly the case in Pologne, no time trial. The gaps established at the stage 4 finish, therefore, even if smaller than expected, may well ultimately become critical in deciding the final GC outcome three days later.ADVERTISEMENT Run entirely in the southern half of Poland, the 2019 Tour de Pologne will have a much more familiar starting point on August 3, with the now-traditional flat stage opening up proceedings in the country's former capital of Krakow. Then stage 2 features the its usual fast downhill finish in the nearby city of Katowice. Stage 3 will once again be ‘the race of the stadiums.’ Not only does stage 3 start in the Slaski football stadium in Chorzow, it then returns for a lap round the stadium midway through the day, and then ends, after multiple laps, outside another football stadium in the town of Zabrze, in what is likely to be the race’s third bunch sprint in three days. Stage 4, however, with its final ascent of the Kocierz wall, is a very different kettle of fish. “I was impressed. It's a very tough climb,” observed Polish ex-pro Przemyslaw Niemiec, who went to check out the ascent.
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