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Tour of Pologne Discussion
Tour of Pologne

The Giro is in full swing, but there’s another Pro Tour stage race in the month of April – the Tour of Pologne. It’s been around for a while, having been held consecutively since 2012. While many top riders are riding the Giro, the startlist still has a few big names on it. But let’s have a look at the stages first:


It’s a diverse course, with a lot of possibilities for all types of riders. We have three hilly stages, but each with a very distinct profile. We might see the climbers shine on these stages as we have in previous stage races but even if not, there’s also a mountain top finish tailor-made for climbing specialists. We’re looking at some very selective days but there’s one more challenge for GC riders: a 25 km time trial to conclude the race.

There are also two flat stages that have invited a decent sprint competition. Both stages feature very short ramps or hills in the closing kilometres though, we’ll see if that has any effect.

GC Favorites
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Lecuisinier837577807974
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus827672777970
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta817373797766
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Wellens817572807668
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Roglic807672767574
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/aeg.png Keinath797675767670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Kirsch797471737567
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Brambilla797670737663
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Slagter787966737471

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Lecuisinier is the big favorite for the overall. He’s the best climber and also the best time trialist among the GC riders. It will need a massive effort from one of the other riders to upset him. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Kudus, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/akm.png Galta and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Wellens seem to be the most likely candidates for that. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Slagter has the distinction of being the best puncheur, which could give him a boost, but he’s also easily the worst time trialist.

Outsiders and Top Domestiques
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Chamorro787565767074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Ignatenko777371707463
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Teklehaimanot777474727670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Maillet777060766977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Hirschlein777169717259
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Hiratsuka777463747760
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Figueiredo767372757768
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Ludvigsson767276727371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Hoem777267697462
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Novak777376737565
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Hacecky777068767675

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Carrefour, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Kraftwerk and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Duolingo each bring two decently strong riders who could play a good role. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Chamorro is the best climber of this bunch but he suffers from bad TT skills, as do many other riders here.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Hirschlein and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Ludvigsson are outside shots, the latter hoping to hang on over the climbs and then shining in the TT. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Hoem, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Novak and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fab.png Hacecky are secondary options within their teams that could end up in a good GC position as well.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Hagen8570747379
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Lutsenko8373737281
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Gastauer8271706776
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Koretzky8171707179
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ebd.png Boswell8071736576
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Jensen8070736676
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Dowsett8065696671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Borges8070737181
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Trofimov7974727070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates7970707580
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho7975726875

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Hagen is the premier puncheur, not just in this race but pretty much everywhere he goes. He’ll target all three hilly stages and would be considered the favorite on any one of them, with riders like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ssc.png Lutsenko, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eav.png Gastauer and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Koretzky as his main rivals.

However, we’ve seen pure puncheurs like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Froome, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Barrio and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Juul-Jensen (who are also all here) struggle on hilly stages in, for instance, California recently. That would favor riders with better mountain stats like pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Trofimov, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho and of course pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/spr.png Slagter, but we’ll have to see if the stages might still allow the non-climbers to excell.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Kennaugh828177717465
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cdb.png Appollonio817874667166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Keukeleire807972687370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bgc.png Silvestre808178717067
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit807876727665
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rpn.png Nizzolo807973677064
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Drapac807971657053
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Willwohl797873677164
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Kip808269636756
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Colbrelli797574727461

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/afk.png Peter Kennaugh is the the strongest sprinter present, on paper at least. But as we’re used to, we’re looking at a very deep, pretty balanced field. I’ve listed the stamina stat because both flat stages are just over 230 kilometres long, so that could give pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Petit a little boost and be a detriment to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Kip, but Andorra has another option in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/and.png Colbrelli.

There are also tiny bumps towards the finish line in both stages, so it’s not impossible that the hill stat might make a difference. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/t3a.png Keukeleire would be the main benefactor, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Drapac could suffer. Other than that, it’s anyone’s race for the taking.

We’ll have a closer look at time trialing specialists when we get to the stage. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/fes.png Panagiotis Vlatos is the favorite, but there’s a deep pool of riders challenging him.

Yellow Jersey
Trying to hit the ground running here, having riders for several terrains but in California it didn't work, it may not work again here.
Had not expected to get a potential top5 GC with Keinath here but MO/HI/TT wise only Lecuisinier is clearly ahead with the next 2-3 being hard to beat on the mountain stage as well while the puncheurs should struggle too much on that one.

Really looking forward to this race now even though my team lacks in support surely. Eiking/Thurau/VdP for the hills but other than that Keinath is isolated quickly as the climbing support is all in the Giro.

If I had known this startlist surely I should have sent Velits here as well having a double lead.
Any lucky points here welcome.
Thanks for preview.
Brambilla with the opportunity to get a good GC placing here.

Hoping for a stage win as well maybe from Boswell or in the final time-trial. Boswell has been rather poor so far so this could be his redemption race.
Bit of a test to see how Kek can handle leading the sprints, then stacked out with the TT'ers and a breakaway hope or two in Robov/Alaphilippe. Don't really have any expectations here, lets just see what happens
Knowing there are no puncheur stages anymore, we must be all in for Appo. Except somehow, the game thinks Kvist is our lead, so.... I'm at a loss. We'll be aggressive and see what happens I guess.

In hindsight this would have been perfect for Warbasse. No idea why I didn't bring him here. I'm sure there was a reason.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy



Another California please, Ivanov with some breakaway appearances and the KoM
Manager of Minions
Well, Serry was supposed to be leader here, obviously not a real contender but I think he could be a dark horse. Silva and Froome can hunt for stages, but dont think we'll get much from this race.
Hopefully Slagter can be aggressive enough to mitigate the time loss he will have in the final TT, maybe a top 10 will be achievable for him.
After the experience at California Kraftwerks only hope of points is Willwohl in the sprints and thats a slim one. Pray we get in a breakaway.

Maillet will probably do better than Teklehaimanot but I suspect top 20 will be as good as it gets.

Thanks for the preview and the great racing pace cunego,
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We bring Trofi and Borges to hopefully have some say on how things go, but in hindsight it's going to be another tough race for us. It should be interesting though.

Thanks for the preview, cunego.
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png
Podium is a must for Kudus in this field, hopefully second to help to forget the awful first outing of the season in East Java. Novak as a dark horse if races isn't that selective, which slightly worries me, that because of the final TT he gets picked as leader.

Nizzolo here for the couple of sprints. I don't expect anything close to what he did in Tirreno, but a few extra points would be nice ofc. No climbing depth because everyone is in the Giro.
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Excited to see how Wellens will do this race. This is our home race after all. So yeah, not much else to say

Good to see Keinath in the front rows on the hilly stages as well.

Van der Poel either was too exhausted in the end or he does not yet count as hilly sprinter for such stage. But he will only get stronger in future.

Thanks for the report and congrats to SN for a rider that too often underperforms.
Lovely to see Esmaeli in the break, such a fantastic rider and so close to the KoM.
Manager of Minions
Yellow Jersey
Dowsett in KOM, surprising turn of events where this proves to be essentially his first point of the season. Hopefully he can keep it all the way, would have the race be a little profiteable at least.
The development team race of all development team races, sadly.
With all of our apt climbers in the Giro to support Herklotz, we're left with scraps here.

Which means, breakaways breakaways breakaways! We already failed that goal in stage 1, that has to change asap.
Besides those, at most I can hope for a surprise overperformance from Bevin on soft ridden stages 5 and 6 to utilize his TT for a good GC, and maybe Yikui Niu can grab some points with a U25 top 10.
Stop! Being! Passive!!

We had such a success in breaks with Stüssi and Madouas in earlier races, and it's impossible to send a team the AI will consider more breakaway-friendly than this one.
Jeez, you have to go from like 0.000001 meters out to have a chance at winning a sprint these days in PCM 18. Appo was perfectly positioned and launched at what I thought was a great time, only to almost fall out of the top 10 completely.

However, it's nice to basically have had two guys in the break with Haas and Yechezkel. Aggressive riding is always fun. Avoiding relegation is more fun, however.
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy



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