At the TVP studios in Warsaw, Michal Kwiatkowski held a press conference organized with the support of Lang Team, the organizer of the 71st Tour de Pologne – UCI World Tour scheduled from August 3rd to the 9th. “The Tour de Pologne is my nation’s race; it’s an important event that means a lot to me”. These are the words that opened the press conference by Michal Kwiatkowski, class of 1990 from Torunand a pro since 2010, riding for the Belgian Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team since 2012.
Before the Tour de Pologne Kwiatkowski will participate in the Tour de France from July 5th to the 27th. “First of all, I’m going to be concentrating on the Tour de France, with the intention of taking a further step towards growing in my career. Last year I was in the Grande Boucle more than anything to gain experience and understand how the mechanisms work in this fascinating, gruelling race. They are going to be a rough three weeks. After Tour de France I would like to try to ride also Tour de Pologne. It’s an ambitious plan but I would like to give it a try. It will depend from how I’ll feel after Tour de France. I like the route a lot and it is well suited to my skills. It should be a little bit easier compared 2013, when the race took off from the Dolomites in Trentino. This year the race is setting off from Gdansk and there are 4 flat stages before the mountain stages. Then on the last day there will be a time trial. The second stage starts in my hometown of Torun and this makes it even more special for me. I would like to thank Czeslaw Lang and the entire Lang Team for the possibility to select my hometown among the city that will host one of the stage start”.
“We are all very proud of Michal Kwiatkowski. Right now he represents the maximum expression in polish cycling and he has become a point of reference for the entire national movement,” says Czeslaw Lang, general director for the Tour de Pologne. “I’ve always believed in him, but personally I was very impressed with what he had to show in this first part of the season. Even though he is only 23 years old, he already behaves with the authority of an expert professional. He has obtained important victories, including the Strade Bianche in Tuscany and the prologue of the Romandie, but I especially appreciated his moves in the northern classics where he rode like a star, battling for victory, and in the Liegè-Bastogne-Liegè, the Flèche Wallone and also in the Amstel Gold Race. This is proof that Michal can go very far”.
“The Tour de Pologne was not designed especially for him, but I think that the route is well suited to his skills,” continues Lang. “In addition to Kwiatkowski I’m sure that other Polish riders can figure well; for example, I’m thinking of Rafal Majka and Przemyslaw Niemiec. Finally, Polish cycling is experiencing a great moment, up until now we had this important international stage like the Tour de Pologne, but we needed some major players; now we have everything we need to have a fantastic event.”
Michal Kwiatkowski has always affirmed himself as one of the most important faces in Polish cycling. In fact, Kwiatkowski is also a spokesperson for the Nutella Mini Tour de Pologne, the race open to children that accompanies the event. “When he was a kid Michal participated in and won the Nutella Mini Tour de Pologne, in a certain sense we can say that his cycling career started here, and this should be an example to all our youth who want to make their dreams of becoming champions come true,” says Czeslaw Lang. “This year, considering the great success it has enjoyed, the Nutella Mini Tour de Pologne will double with two categories. As always we will keep the race for children aged 8 to 12 but we have introduced a race for older kids, 13/14 year old, who already belong to different clubs.”