Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tour de Pologne in Zakopane area

One of the largest sport events in Poland – Tour de Pologne, the road bicycle race, is organized every  year in the middle of summer. It consists of seven or eight stages and the distance of the race is around 1,200 km. The first race took place in 1928 and it was organized as an amateur race until 1992. Since 1993 it has become a world class event which gains the professionals from many countries. It is also a part of UCI World Tour competition.

Some of the stages – the mountain stages, take part in Zakopane and its surroundings. Cyclists do amazing things here! The first day they arrive into the mountain area making the distance of around 160 km in length. The second day they make circles at the foothills of the Tatra Mountains – 190 kilometers of uphills and downhills.  

Cyclists are accompanied by the fans. People stand along the route and support in many different ways. Some of them are dressed up with funny make-up, others sing or ring the bells. Race is also an excuse for a barbecue - those who live along the race route organize small parties combined with supporting the cyclist. 

Tour de Pologne is also a great promotion of the sport. Many people inspired by the race decide to rent a bicycle and explore the area. Suggestion for the advanced cyclists is the tour around the Tatras. Begginers can make some cycling trips along the valleys or other mountain ridges around the Tatras.

Tour de Pologne four times received the title of "The Best Sport Event of the Year" in Poland. If you are nearby the race route take your time to cheer the cyclists – it is a great fun :) You can also take part in the amateurs race which draw crowds of participants (in 2013 it was about 1400 people!). Or maybe in the professionals competition? :)

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