Our team aims for stage wins and a good GC at the upcoming seven-day race.
Tim Merlier will headline our seven-man squad for the 27th World Tour event of the season, taking place between 29 July-4 August. Winner of six races so far in his first year with Soudal Quick-Step, the two-time Belgian Champion will look to add to this tally in Poland, where the sprinters will get three opportunities, including one on the opening day.
This year, the route comes with some changes that will see the climbers hit the fore earlier than in the past, and that’s because the second stage schedules a challenging uphill finish in Karpacz, followed just twenty-four hours later by another hard day in the saddle, to Zdroj. A hilly parcours to Bielsko-Biala and a 16.6km individual time trial held over the undulating roads around Katowice complete the parcours of this 80th edition.
Soudal Quick-Step’s squad for the Tour de Pologne includes also Mattia Cattaneo and Josef Cerny – who have recently extended their contracts with the Wolfpack – Jan Hirt, experienced lead-out man Bert Van Lerberghe, Ilan Van Wilder and Louis Vervaeke.
“In Poland you always get some chances in the sprint, and for this we have Tim, who will rely on Bert. Concerning the general classification, we’ll go with Ilan – who has done a strong Giro d’Italia in the first part of the year – and now kicks off his second half of the season. This course, with the time trial, should suit him, so we’ll see how far he can go in the standings. Supporting him will be Louis, Jan and Mattia, but also Josef, who can be of great help on the flat stages”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images