Cycling is a sport that is developing greatly around the world and high-quality road events at the Under-23 level are an essential part of this success. These events offer us tantalising glimpses of the stars of tomorrow.
Consequently, I am delighted to welcome a brand-new event in Poland to the cycling community. The Orlen Nations Grand Prix will feature two days of top-class racing around Bukowina Tatrzańska, a small town that has found fame by hosting memorable stage finishes in the Tour de Pologne. Against the backdrop of the beautiful Tatra Mountains, some of the best young riders in the world will gather on 1-2 June to compete to be the first winner of the Orlen Nations Grand Prix.
The professionalism of the Lang Team – headed by Czeslaw and Agata Lang, organisers of the UCI WorldTour’s Tour de Pologne – is such that the event has immediately been incorporated into the UCI Nations’ Cup Under-23. This is a season-long series of the highest quality races which showcases the most promising Under-23 riders from around the world. The unqualified success of the Tour de Pologne leaves us in no doubt that this UCI Nations’ Cup event will be a fantastic occasion, and extensive television coverage will provide important exposure for these young athletes.
Poland has recently produced some of cycling’s star riders – both men and women – which is due in no small part to the development work of the Union Cycliste de Pologne and its President Janusz Pozak. The Orlen Nations Grand Prix can only serve to cement the reputation of Polish riders as talented local athletes take on the cream of the international peloton.
I would like to offer my congratulations and thanks to everyone implicated in the organisation, including volunteers, officials, sponsors and partners. I am sure that everyone involved will enjoy the inaugural Orlen Nations Grand Prix – not least the riders!