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76th Tour de Pologne (2.UWT) 2019-08-03 - 2019-08-09



One of the biggest stage races outisde of Western Europe is about to begin. It was meant to be the first ever clash for the win at Poland's biggest race between the two best Polish riders of the last decade but, unfortunately, last year's winner Michał Kwiatkowski has decided to skip the race due to the need of recovery. Will Rafał Majka be able to replicate his 2014 level being left as Poland's only realistic hope for a big result in this race?



The route will be a traditional mix of flat and hilly stages. The race will see inclusion of a new hilly stage at stage 4 with the final ascent to Kocierz which includes a very steep fragment but flattens a bit towards the end. The race will traditionally end at Bukowina Tatrzańska but the last stage will also see some changes compared to previous years as the famous Ściana Bukowina will no longer be a penultimate climb but has been moved to an earlier part of the stage.

Stage 1 » Kraków › Kraków (136k)


Stage 2 » Tarnowskie Góry › Katowice (153k)


Stage 3 » Chorzów › Zabrze (157k)


Stage 4 » Jaworzno › Kocierz (173k)


Stage 4 will pass through a town called Wilamowice. Have you ever heard about the Wymysorys language, a West Germanic language spoken by a small comunity living there with about 20 native speakers left?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wymysorys_language


Stage 5 » Kopalnia Soli „Wieliczka" › Bielsko-Biała (154k)


Stage 6 » Zakopane › Zakopane (155k)


Stage 7 » Bukovina Resort › Bukowina Tatrzańska (132.5k)


JERSEYS:

- GC leader
- best climber
- best sprinter (points competition)
- most active (intermediate sprints)

Provisional startlist: https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/tour-de-pologne/2019/startlist

Includes among others: former winners Rafał Majka and Ion Izagirre + Pavel Sivakov, Bob Jungels, Davide Formolo, Miguel Angel Lopez, Diego Ulissi, Matej Mohoric, Soren Kragh Andersen, Mikel Nieve, Sergio Higuita, Pierre Latour, Bjorg Lambrecht, Simon Spilak and Alexandr Vlasov

a strong sprinting field with: Fabio Jakobsen, Pascal Ackermann, Danny Van Poppel, Fernando Gaviria and John Degenkolb.
 
Looking forward to see Lambrecht & Higuita. I feel they are very similar in many ways. Both are tiny riders (Higuita is even smaller and a bit lighter than the already miniature Lambrecht), but both climb really well, pack a lot of punch, and can even win a sprint from a select group.
 
Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
Looking forward to see Lambrecht & Higuita. I feel they are very similar in many ways. Both are tiny riders (Higuita is even smaller and a bit lighter than the already miniature Lambrecht), but both climb really well, pack a lot of punch, and can even win a sprint from a select group.
Higuita is probably more of a pure climber when all is said. I don't think Lambrecht would be able to do what Higuita did in ToC.

But the climbs are so short in Poland that Lambrecht should be able to fight for GC.

By the way, about stage 4 to Kocierz, is that the one where they have found a new wall (the finish climb)?
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Looking forward to see Lambrecht & Higuita. I feel they are very similar in many ways. Both are tiny riders (Higuita is even smaller and a bit lighter than the already miniature Lambrecht), but both climb really well, pack a lot of punch, and can even win a sprint from a select group.
Higuita is probably more of a pure climber when all is said. I don't think Lambrecht would be able to do what Higuita did in ToC.
I have no reason to believe that Lambrecht couldn't do what Higuita did in ToC. He's been focussing more on his punch the past two years, but trust me, he can climb. Only lost 1 minute to Bernal in Tour de l' Avenir 2017. Was within two minutes of 1st in Suisse last year, until the ITT came. He won plenty of mountain stageraces in U23 etc...
 
Not easy to know what Lambrechts climbing potential really is. As Logic said he had a few GC wins and a lot of 2nd places in mountain stageraces in the U23 category. He was pretty close to Sivakovs climbing level (Sivakov mostly made the difference in descents) and even not that far off from Bernals level back then. All that without focussing on climbing at all. Till this day he hasnt been training on longer climbs (so not only the last two years). That while a guys like SIvakov and Bernal grew up next to mountains. I don't think he thought he had the potential to be a good climber in the future before the Dauphiné. He always predicted he was gonna be more of a puncher, so he and the team agreed to focus primarly on the classics. But I'm pretty sure that Dauphiné opened his eyes a bit. I mean, him thinking about moving to spain out of nowhere and already renting a house for next winter there proves that.

That being said, he should be able to top 5 the GC here and maybe get his first WT win IF he recovered well from his first ever serious altitude camp.
 
Re: Re:

Logic-is-your-friend said:
Cance > TheRest said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Looking forward to see Lambrecht & Higuita. I feel they are very similar in many ways. Both are tiny riders (Higuita is even smaller and a bit lighter than the already miniature Lambrecht), but both climb really well, pack a lot of punch, and can even win a sprint from a select group.
Higuita is probably more of a pure climber when all is said. I don't think Lambrecht would be able to do what Higuita did in ToC.
I have no reason to believe that Lambrecht couldn't do what Higuita did in ToC. He's been focussing more on his punch the past two years, but trust me, he can climb. Only lost 1 minute to Bernal in Tour de l' Avenir 2017. Was within two minutes of 1st in Suisse last year, until the ITT came. He won plenty of mountain stageraces in U23 etc...
Well, he is versatile for sure, but with the climbing he has shown this year, I am just not sure he'd been able to follow Pogacar (who I regard as a much better climber by the way) on Mt. Baldy. Maybe he has the potential, as you say, to grow into a better climber if he trains more specifically for it, but that will probably take away some of his punch and make him less lethal in what he really excels at at the moment. Anyway, Poland should be good for him.
 
Re: Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Cance > TheRest said:
Logic-is-your-friend said:
Looking forward to see Lambrecht & Higuita. I feel they are very similar in many ways. Both are tiny riders (Higuita is even smaller and a bit lighter than the already miniature Lambrecht), but both climb really well, pack a lot of punch, and can even win a sprint from a select group.
Higuita is probably more of a pure climber when all is said. I don't think Lambrecht would be able to do what Higuita did in ToC.
I have no reason to believe that Lambrecht couldn't do what Higuita did in ToC. He's been focussing more on his punch the past two years, but trust me, he can climb. Only lost 1 minute to Bernal in Tour de l' Avenir 2017. Was within two minutes of 1st in Suisse last year, until the ITT came. He won plenty of mountain stageraces in U23 etc...
Well, he is versatile for sure, but with the climbing he has shown this year, I am just not sure he'd been able to follow Pogacar (who I regard as a much better climber by the way) on Mt. Baldy. Maybe he has the potential, as you say, to grow into a better climber if he trains more specifically for it, but that will probably take away some of his punch and make him less lethal in what he really excels at at the moment. Anyway, Poland should be good for him.
Just for reference, Lambrecht was about a minute ahead of Sivakov in last year's Tour de Suisse, before the final ITT stage. I'm quite positive you are underestimating him. That doesn't mean i'm sure that he's definitely on Higuita's level, just that that climb/stage in California, with weak/out of form oposition, isn't a reference. I mean, let's be real here, Asgreen finished that stage as 6th, at merely 22 seconds.
 
I watched the sprint to see if Cavendish would have a shot. He never got into a better position than 12th or so. Didn't get out of the saddle. I don't get it. He seems like a shell of his former self and he doesn't even try.
 

Wvv

Jan 3, 2019
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benzwire said:
I watched the sprint to see if Cavendish would have a shot. He never got into a better position than 12th or so. Didn't get out of the saddle. I don't get it. He seems like a shell of his former self and he doesn't even try.
This. The most striking example was the sprint that Zabel won in Yorkshire.
It's almost as if it's more of a mental problem these days.
I really hope he can perform once again.
His career and reputation deserve that.
 
benzwire said:
I watched the sprint to see if Cavendish would have a shot. He never got into a better position than 12th or so. Didn't get out of the saddle. I don't get it. He seems like a shell of his former self and he doesn't even try.
Whilst I, like you and everbody else, does not know why Cavendish is no longer remotely competitive, I would add that he has a long history of having no interest in any other position than first. For most of his career, as soon as he knows there is no chance of winning, he stops pedalling. (The exception would be when he was targetting Grand Tour points jerseys) Perhaps this is what happened here.
 
We're very sad to report a serious crash of @bjorg_lambrecht
of @Lotto_Soudal
who needed helicopter transport to a hospital following emergency reanimaton.
We'll report when we know more but we hope it's nothing too serious and are wishing fast recovery
#tdp2019


***. Does not sound good.
 

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