Poland’s biggest cycling race got underway of Monday , headlining lead up races to the next Grand Tour race of the year which happens next week, the Vuelta a Espana. The first stage was a 216km course designed to test the riders’ sprinting prowess, it has three sprint races intermittent during the race. I have not been the greatest fan of the roads that the organizers have designed at the finishing stages,considering that the finishes are more or less bunched with a lot of riders. The possibility of crashes is high on those narrow finishes. As a matter of a horrendous crash did happen at a stage last year in Katowice. Check out the footage 👆 above. Fabio Jakobsen of Deceunick-Quickstep was knocked into the weak barriers atbthe downhill finish and suffered serious head injuries as a result.
The organizers have since removed the downhill finish which was dangerous in a positive move as well as replace the barriers with plastic ones. These do absorb crash impact but I prefer sand and water barriers which are more eco-friendly. Of course plastic can be recycled as well. In positive news Fabio will be in the Vuelta next week so at least it wasn’t a career defining injury. The rider who knocked Fabio deserves some blame as he rode dangerously close to him for a fair bit there but didnt pull out. Back to the stage one race, Fabio’s teammate Alvaro Hodeg was beaten at the finish by German Phil Bauhaus after having sprinted early in hopes of putting distance between him and the peloton. Phil knew his strong suit was to come , the final climb about 350 meters to the finish which wasn’t as steep at an incline of about 5 degrees.