It is with great pride and satisfaction that the organizing committee for the Tour de Pologne led by Director Czesław Lang announces that the 2013 edition of the Polish stage race scheduled from July 27th to August 3rd will set off from Trentino in Italy.
This is something completely new for the Tour de Pologne, which in former editions only briefly went beyond its national borders during the race (for a brief stretch in the Czech Republic). In 2013 the Tour de Pologne will celebrate the prestigious milestone of its 70th edition.
There are two stages scheduled in Italy, both of them in Trentino. The first stage on Saturday, July 27th, will be from Rovereto to Madonna di Campiglio for 183.5 km. The second, on Sunday, July 28th, will cover 195.5 km from Marilleva Val Di Sole to Passo Pordoi, arriving in the heart of the Dolomites, a national monument elected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
These two stages were baptised today at a press conference held by the Director of the Tour de Pologne, Czeslaw Lang, against the splendid backdrop of the Krakow History Museum. A committee of representatives from the towns in Trentino which will be hosting the two stages’ starts and arrivals was headed by Tiziano Mellarini (Councillor for Agriculture, Forests, Tourism and Promotion for the Autonomous Province of Trento), Maurizio Rossini (Marketing Director for Trentino), and Pietro De Godenz (President of APT Val di Fiemme), who met with Jacek Majchrowski (Mayor of Krakow) and a select group of some of the best Polish riders from the peloton, including: Michal Kwiatkowski, this year second, the Polish national champion Michal Golas, Adrian Kurek, red combative jersey of the TdP 2012, Tomasz Marczynski best climber of the TdP 2012, Marek Rutkiewicz, Maciej Bodnar, Lukas Bodnar and the mtb champion Anna Szafraniec.
So the race will set off from abroad, and no less from a country that shares no common borders but which however is very close to Poland.
“This vicinity is not defined by kilometres but by the historical and cultural events that link these two great nations together,” explains the Director for the Tour de Pologne Czeslaw Lang. “Not to mention the friendship and goodwill that have always tied me to Italy, where I spent many years of my life, growing as a cyclist and garnering some of the most brilliant results of my career. This project was made possible thanks to synergy and cooperation between ourselves and Trentino Spa (Territorial Marketing enterprise for Trentino), which in 2013 will be an official partner of the Tour de Pologne for the fourth year in a row. This is an important partnership that will be reinforced in the 2013 race and enjoy some unforgettable moments with the two stages in Trento. There will be lots of Italians there who are still friends of mine, who I used to pedal with in the pack and with whom I shared so much excitement and emotion. Among them all the great Francesco Moser stands out; he is also the uncle of the young champion Moreno Moser, winner of the 2012 edition of the Tour de Pologne. Francesco is from Trento, and he has helped me with the realization of this ambitious project and the drawing up of the stages that will pass through various towns as well as the climbs which have justifiably become a part of world cycling legend. In the second stage, as a tribute to the friendship that binds us, we will pass in front of Moser’s house in Palù di Giovo. For the Tour de Pologne it will be an honour to ride on these roads and touch the highest surrounding peaks like the Alpe di Pampeago and Passo Pordoi, where the history of the Giro d’Italia was written.”
It is going to be an important sports and media event for both countries. In fact, it will be the first time that the cycling-crazed country of Italy will host the start of a foreign race from the World Tour calendar.
“The Tour de Pologne has grown with every edition, contributing to the growth of the entire Polish cycling movement,” continues Lang. “These years there are lots and lots of young people who are getting closer to cycling. Each season there are more and more Polish riders racing on UCI ProTeams in the A series, and the Tour de Pologne has had an important role in this process. Last year our race was actually won by a talent from Trento by the name of Moreno Moser, who emerged victorious after an exciting duel with a young Polish hope, Michal Kwiatkowski, who came in second. We hope to have a thrilling race from every standpoint once again in 2013 and hopefully these two champions’ positions on the podium can be inverted.”
Trentino and Poland are united not only by a love of sports but also by a strong affinity for tourism.
“Year after year there are always more Polish tourists who choose the lovely resorts in Trentino for their holidays in the Dolomites, whether in summer or winter,” says Czesław Lang. “We hope that the presence of the Tour de Pologne in Trentino will inspire the Italian public to better get to know and appreciate our own territories, and why not increase Italian tourism to Poland to discover the natural beauty of our territory and the rich culture and history of Poland.”
This feeling of unity was also underscored by Councilman Tiziano Mellarini.
“Tourism is a driving force in Trentino. We are grateful that the Tour de Pologne has decided to set off from our territory. With the Lang Team we have encountered a fantastic level of professional organization and we hope to reciprocate with our warmest welcome. This partnership underlines Poland’s interest in Trentino and Trentino’s interest in Poland. It’s an important opportunity for all of us. For us it will be one more way to promote our territory beyond our borders, particularly in Poland. After all, Polish tourists really feel at home in Trentino, and they always appreciate our land and the beauty of our mountains, among other things. I hope this collaboration will signify a great achievement for both parties.”
There was also a good deal of interest and a sense of satisfaction among the riders present.
“I think that Czeslaw Lang had a great idea, as he usually does,” says Michal Kwiatkowski. “Starting off from Trentino will be spectacular and will contribute to further enhance the image of the Tour de Pologne. They are going to be two very beautiful, challenging stages. I think they will have an immediate, important effect on the General Classification. On the other hand, once we come back to Poland there will be ample space for the riders who aren’t in the classification to give a good fight and make a mark for themselves as they try to capture a partial stage victory. Anyway, this race is without a doubt going to be thrilling and captivating from the first to the last stage.”