Tour de Pologne 2023 – Stage 1

It is time for a sprint.


Flat stage, just 415 climbing meters.


On a racetrack! So it is mostly curves and not turns. All about being in a good spot with 400m to go, that is the last curve. We saw in the Tour de France how late a surge you can make on these wide roads.


At 15:00, it looks like the shit hits the fan. It will rain through the afternoon. That means staying off the curbs on the racetrack is a good idea.


Mareczko – he has a good lead-out to help him here with Krieger, Plowright and Taminiaux. It is not very often he gets it right, perhaps the wider roads and the support tomorrow will do the job.

Govekar – does not have the full team behind him but he does have Pasqualon who is a very good lead-out man. A top-10 would be a good result in this field.

Sam Bennett – was not selected for Le Tour. Seems everywhere he goes they dislike him. He does not have Van Poppel here but he does have Mullen and Archbold, and they are certainly not bad either. He starts as one of the favorites.

Penhoët – a young sprinter on the rise, who will find it difficult in the battle for position, he is not very big for a sprinter.

Thijssen – should be another favorite tomorrow, he is mighty fast. The team has a lot of speed but I’m uncertain if any of them have much experience leading out their rider. It could become a bit chaotic.

Kooij – not much help from the team but he should be able to manage it himself, which he has done so often this season. He is turning out to be one of the best sprinters for the coming years.

Gaviria – I can see him starting his sprint after the last bend, hoping to catch everyone off guard just to finish 5th.

Merlier – he has Van Lerberghe here and some firepower for the flat but is it enough? He has done better with worse before, he does not need much support to challenge for the win.

De Klejn – he has picked up some good results this year. This time, the competition will be harder than ever, but he proved in a tough sprinting field in UAE Tour he can challenge for the podium.

Ackermann – more or less left on his own. He would have wanted a tougher stage to better his odds.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Kooij
⭐⭐⭐ Merlier, Bennett
⭐⭐ Ackermann, De Kleijn, Thijssen
⭐ Penhoët, Govekar, Mareczko, Gaviria

Who will win?

As none of the three favorites in my book have a particularly strong lead-out, my money is on Kooij.

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