Tour de Pologne
Start Date: 2016-07-12
End Date: 2016-07-18
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First held in 1928, the Tour de Pologne is only a little younger than its better-known big brother, the Tour de France. Held only sporadically in its first two decades, and with an eight-year break around World War II, the 69th edition of the Tour in 2012 marked another step up in the international reputation of this epic cycling road race.
Krakow has always been intimately connected with the Tour, perhaps unsurprisingly for a city so close to the juicy mountain routes of the Tatras. Although early Tours were much longer than today’s race (over 2,000 km in 1953), and took in every part of the country, the competition in its modern form is concentrated in southern Poland and always ends in Krakow’s Market Square.
The growing significance of the Tour de Pologne has meant the participation of an increasing number of international riders over the years, with the unfortunate result that no Pole has won since 2003, and that there have only been two Polish winners in the past decade.
This has not stifled the popularity of the event among Poles, with millions tuning in to TV coverage each year and thousands turning out for the carnival-like atmosphere of the triumphant final run into Krakow every summer.
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