The 5th stage of the prestige event Tour de Pologne will take place for the first time on 7.8.2014 also in Slovakia. Tour de Pologne (TdP) is a grandiose sports event well-known in Poland and this year it will have its premiere in Slovakia.
5th Stage: Zakopané – Štrbké Pleso
The actual stage will start in Polish Zakopané and the peloton will get to Slovakia through the border crossing Suchá Hora. Cyclists will pass villages and towns like: Hladovka – Vitanová – Čimhová – Liesek – Trstená – Tvrdošín – Nižná – Podbiel – Oravský Biely Potok – Habovka – Zuberec – Huty – Liptovské Matiašovce – Liptovský Trnovec – Liptovský Mikuláš – Liptovská Podtureň – Liptovský Hrádok – Hybe – Východná – Važec – Tatranská Štrba – Vyšné Hágy – Štôla – Mengusovce – Tatranská Štrba – Štrbské Pleso (tow rounds). The total length of the stage is 191 km with an overall ascent of 2 460 m.
Tour de Pologne official website: www.tourdepologne.pl
From history of the Tour de Pologne
Tour de Pologne is a stage race consisting of seven or eight stages. It is usually around 1,200 km in length. The race was first held in 1928 with presence of 71 cyclists. For a long time, until 1952 the race didn´t have annual periodicity. It was organized irregularly and had one curiosity – it was reserved only to amateur cyclists. Due to this fact the competition was markedly reduced in the race and mostly Polish cyclists were the winners. Tour de Pologne was organized by two subjects: by Warsaw Cycling Society and a special journal Przeglad Sportovy. Until the outbreak of World War II, the race had taken place four times. The early races differed completely from today´s. The stages were significantly longer (often reaching up to 300 kilometres) and they often run along stone-chipped roads which resulted in flat tires. The year 1953 was a record-breaking year. The Race Around Poland consisted of 13 stages and its total length reached 2,311 kilometres.
After the end of World War II the idea of the cycling competition around Poland was reborn. In 1947 the race was restored after a long forced eight-year break. The joint effort of the Polish Cycling Association, the newspaper publisher Czytelnik and a group of enthusiastic journalists has borne fruit, though the race was mainly for financial reasons short. The level of the TdP dropped significantly since 1948, when the first annual set of the Peace Race was held. Three countries of former socialistic bloc participated to organize it: The German Democratic Republic, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
In late eighties and early nineties the Iron Curtain fell and the best sportsmen of the old continent were free to continue in competitions without any restrictions. Since 1993 Czeslaw Lang, an excellent former Polish cyclist has been a director of the Tour de Pologne. He belonged to the world top amateur cyclists. In 1977 he won bronze at the World Championships in a team time trial, two years it was silver in the same discipline, in 1980 he conquered the second place in road race at the Olympics in Moscow, and in 1980 he conquered in an individual time trail, The same year he won the Tour de Pologne. During the active career he gained a primacy which nobody takes from him. He was the first cyclist from the "Eastern bloc" countries, which signed a professional contract. As a race director he used his wealth of contacts, organizational skills, and authority in cycling circles, and its reputation thanks to the Tour de Pologne was rising. In 2005 the race was included in the elite category of the UCI ProTour. Within cycling events in Central and Eastern Europe the race is the only one being so high in the hierarchy. Since 2011 when it was written into the calendar of the UCI World Tour, the Race Around Poland has been one of the 15 world's most prestigious stage races.
What does this mean for Slovakia
As the Tour de Pologne is one among 15 world's most prestigious stage races, "small" Slovakia will thus be able to show the "big" world what beautiful corners we have here. During the live event the most amazing places from the regions of Liptov, Orava and of course High Tatras is to be broadcast in 59 countries of the world.
Leading cyclists of set categories wear shirts of following colours: - yellow for the leader of the general classification; pink for the best highlander; red for the most active cyclist; dark blue for the leader of scoring race. Two million fans lined the road during the race last year and television transmissions were broadcast in 59 countries.
Even the cross-border cooperation within cycling between Poland and Slovak will bring new challenges and opportunities to improve the social and cultural life, between the two close nations.