2022 Tour de Pologne – Stage 1 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Tour de Pologne – Stage 1 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The Route

The Tour de Pologne has it’s start in Kielce this year, for an edition that will take place fully in the southeast of the country. The opening day of the race will be one for the sprinters, with an interesting finale and an important win on the line for the riders. 

The stage will have 218 kilometers in distance, a complicated affair for the peloton, which will see some rolling roads en route to Lublin where the day will have it’s finale. 

It should be a bunch sprint finish for the riders, however far from a simple one. The rolling roads will see the riders dive into the final two kilometers at high speed. The final 750 meters will have an uphill tilt to it, with gradients of around 4/5% through around 350 meters until the 400 meter to go mark, with a false-flat gradient until the finish, having a sharp turn with 200 meters to go. 

The Weather

There will be a breeze from the east which will largely affect any chances of a breakaway. For a bunch sprint, it should see the same thing, with a slight headwind making the math a little more complicated for the fast men. 

Breakaway chances: 1%

It’s virtually impossible for a group to succeed under these circumstances, it should be fairly easy to organize a strong chase from the sprinter teams in the peloton. 

The Favourites

This will be a day for the pure sprinters. Many of these will be returning to competition, and many leadouts are rusty and will not be working as smoothly as they have done in the past. Nevertheless, you will surely consider the likes of Arnaud Démare, Mark Cavendish and Sam Bennett with the best leadouts in the race, from established sprinters. 

The likes of Olav Kooij, Kaden Groves and Phil Bauhaus will not have the same level of support but honestly, at times it does not matter as much, specially in the Tour de Pologne where the competition will not be as fierce as the Tour de France for example and there is more room for mistake – although obviously, the less the better. 

The likes of BORA with Bennett but also Jordi Meeus, UAE with Pascal Ackermann and Juan Sebastian Molano or INEOS with Elia Viviani and Ethan Hayter should have a decision made in their camp however the mix-up may prove itself complicated at a certain point. At the same time it may end up a successful leadout.

The likes of Gerben Thijssen, Simone Consonni, Jakub Mareczko, Sam Welsford, Andrea Vendrame, Stanislaw Aniolkowski, Max Kantter and Marc Sarreau are all expected to be in the fight for the top places aswell, albeit with lower expectations. 

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Démare, Cavendish, Kooij

⭐⭐Bauhaus, S.Bennett, Ackermann, Groves

⭐Viviani, Hayter, Meeus, Thijssen, Consonni, Mareczko, Aniolkowski

The victory in the opening day will in my opinion fall for Olav Kooij. He’s grown into the level of taking wins against such same, and I reckon he’ll be more consistent than many of the riders surrounding him in the fast finishes. 

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