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Tour of Poland Quick Preview and Stage 1 O/T

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Poland_mediumStart list HEREContains a pretty solid list of names, which is step one to putting on a good race. Columbia are completely loaded for stage wins, with Andre Greipel patrolling the bunch gallops and Albasini, Boasson Hagen and Burghardt for the longer attacks. Greipel will have Allan Davis, Graeme Brown, JJ Haedo, Danilo Napolitano, Seb Chavanel and others for company. Ivan Basso heads up the GC list, along with Dan Martin, David Lopez Garcia, Philippe Gilbert, Nick Nuyens, the World Champion, and Kanstantin Siutsou to make things interesting.

How to win is another matter. [All info gleaned from the official site, where I discovered that this race is older than my dad.] Today is a circuit race around Warsaw, fairly sure to end in a sprint. Tomorrow and Tuesday the Tour goes to Bialystok (mmmm, bialy...) and Lublin, ending with slightly hilly circuits, the latter of which might be enough for a late selection. Wednesday is a long 240km rolling slog to Rzeszow, which should soften up the legs for the real action:

Thursday, stage 5 to Krynica Zdroj: Four closing circuits, each of which contains the cat 2 Kopciowa and cat 1 Jakubik, with a short downhill to the line. Climbs are in the 200-meter (elevation) range or so.

Friday, stage 6 to Zakopane: Eleven rated climbs, including four 25km circuits of the dual summits of Murzasichle and Glodowka. The valley is at 780 meters, and the climbs are to 1032m, dropping down, then up to 1140m. One last trip over the Murzasichle at the end for good measure before bombing down to the line.

Saturday finishes with one more for the sprinters. Polish TV will be covering the race, so I expect some video, someplace. Last year, IIRC, weather and dangerous conditions basically ruined the race (not surprisingly won by Jens Voigt, who isn't so easily deterred), and this year could be messy for a while, though the forecasts look better for later in the week. Enjoy!