Wednesday, 29 April 2015

After a long period of one day races juniors will start the first uci stage race of the season, 27th edition of La Coupe du Président de la Ville de Grudziadz. Despite French name the race is based in the city of  Grudziądz in Poland and organized by ALKS Stal Grudziadz, local club team.

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After moving Tour of Istria to September the Polish race naturally improved in terms of field quality. 34 teams has been invited including clubs from Denmark, Germany, Holland and Great Britain plus numerous teams from Central and Eastern Europe. In 2007 Michał Kwiatkowski has won the race ahead of Peter Sagan. They were both first year juniors back then and it was one of the first races where they had a chance to shine and compete against each other. Last year, Julius Van den Berg, who is currently riding for SEG Racing Team won the race thanks to solo win on stage three around Świecie and successful breakaway on the day before.

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Julius van den Berg with his race trophies (photo:

The route is pretty much the same as last year with only one stage hosted by different city. Total distance of 391,7 km kilometers was divided into five stages. During the first day we will have traditional team time trial (Garuta - Łasin, 12.5km) in the morning and later on the first road stage around Jabłonowo Pomorskie (77,2km). On the second day riders will face 90,5km long stage from Lisewo to Płużnica. The next stage is pretty much a circuit race around Świecie, the same as last year. The final stage around Grudziądz is also the longest one with 109,5km and three loops around the city.

Alan Banaszek winning final stage in 2014 edition (photo:

The route is basically flat so TTT is going to be crucial in terms of GC. Also, expect a lot of breakways and fight for bonus seconds that will be the key for improving in GC. Last year, Alan Banaszek was clearly the strongest sprinter but his team didn't perform well enough in team time trial and Banaszek only managed to reach second place in GC.


As TTT being a crucial for GC I would rate team RSC Cottbus as one of the favorities. The won last year and performed pretty well in previous editions. Max Kanter should be the team leader. He recently won two sprint stages in Cottbus stage race and finished second in gc just behind Leo Appelt. The second big name for GC is for sure Alan Banaszek. Stage winner from last year should improve generally and with his experience of racing here from last year he may be one of the biggest contenders. Team SMS Świdnica won the opening TTT in 2013 and managed to defend the leaders jersey of Patryk Krzywda to the end of the race. Damian Sławek who recently finished Paris Roubaix for juniors might be their strong contender for gc. Final Polish team that you should take a closer look is GKS Cartusia Kartuzy with two strong contenders: Szymon Sajnok (fifth in Roubaix) and Adrian Kaiser. Last but not least Team Kelberg Roskilde brings strong team with two big names: Mikkel Honore and Mathias Norsgaard (fifth last year), both capable of winning the whole race.

Other names to watch: Alex Braybrooke, Stuart Balfour, Maxim Satlikov, Yannick Detant, Alex Mengoulas, Dusan Rajovic, Dylan Bouwmans.

Please note that the startlist is a provisional one and there will be some changes for sure but hopefully all the favorites will be there.

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