Sports Director Piotr Wadecki is confident in the strength of the team that will join Zakarin in Poland.
“We are going to this year’s Tour de Pologne with Ilnur Zakarin as our leader for the race while Simon Geschke, who put in a solid performance here last year, will also be a protected rider. For Ilnur, this is his first race back after the lockdown period but we saw him climbing well in the earlier part of the season and I know he has been training well so, by the first hard stage on day three, I am sure he will have found his rhythm again,” Wadecki explained.
“Simon made his return to the start line at Strade Bianche and those tough racing kilometers will be beneficial so, I feel confident that we can make a good General Classification result with Ilnur and Simon plus with Attila Valter, I think we can make a good team GC result. I was really happy to see Kamil Małecki, Szymon Sajnok, and Kamil Gradek working well together in Burgos on the flatter stages and alongside Patrick Bevin, I know that everyone coming to Poland from Spain can be strong again at this race.”
Zakarin is excited to be returning to racing and is looking to test his form at the now five-day race.
“It’s not easy to set specific goals right now because it was such a long pause from racing and, like most of the guys in the peloton, I had never experienced that before so I am not totally sure how my body will respond to it again. However, three good weeks of training at altitude in Livigno have done their job and I am happy with my shape. I worked hard and my performance at the training camp felt really good and I was able to push the limit so, we will see what I can do in Poland. Overall, I am just really looking forward to racing again because I have really missed all of the feelings that come with it,” Zakarin said.
After winning the King of the Mountains Classification in 2019, Simon Geschke is happy to be returning to the start line of Tour de Pologne.
“Tour de Pologne is a nice race and I am looking forward to racing here once again. Last year I was quite successful, or at least I had good shape at this race but it’s, of course, a totally different situation this year so we will see what happens. Strade Bianche was a very tough way to restart the season and I am still a little uncertain about my form at the moment but, a stage race is something completely different. Hopefully, as a team, we can work together to get a good result on the General Classification and personally, my goal is to try to do something on one or two of the stages,” Geschke said.
Tour de Pologne (5 – 9 August)
Rider Roster: Patrick Bevin (NZL), SImon Geschke (GER), Kamil Gradek (POL), Kamil Malecki (POL), Szymon Sajnok (POL), Attila Valter (HUN), Ilnur Zakarin (RUS)
Sports Directors: Piotr Wadecki (POL), Gabriele Missaglia (ITA)