The French National team has won the 27-km team time trial from Jurgów to Bukowina Tatrzanska, with a time of 00:40:17, thus capturing the first stage in the ORLEN NATIONS GRAND PRIX. The Danish National Team took second place on the podium, 24” back. The Belgian National team rounded out the podium in third place, 29” behind the winners.
The 16 national teams participating, in alphabetical order (Austria, Belgium, Belorussia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland) battled on the insidious route for the inaugural team time trial.
The first rider over the finish line for the French National team was Clément Champoussin, who will defend his leadership in tomorrow’s final fraction. His team mates Nicolas Prodhomme and Alan Boileau will be right behind him, with the same time as the winner.
Tomorrow there will be a 113-km in-line race that will conclude this first edition of the ORLEN NATIONS GRAND PRIX. The starting gate will be located at the Bukovina Resort, while the arrival is set up at Bukowina Tatrzanska. The stage will take place on part of the route that has been the scene of the conclusive stage in the Tour de Pologne for the last several years.
The title sponsor of the event is PKN ORLEN – a leading-edge player on the fuels and energy markets, and the largest company in Central and Eastern Europe.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
“This team time trial was very beautiful but challenging, with difficult climbs and technical stretches to consider,” says the leader of the general classification, Clément Champoussin. “The road started climbing from the very beginning and from a physical standpoint it was a very demanding test. There were lots of very strong national teams in this first edition of the ORLEN NATIONS GRAND PRIX and we knew better than to underestimate any of them. In order to win we had to take it to the limit, all the way to the very last metres. My team mates and I were in perfect synch from the get go and this is why we managed to win this first stage. This evening the team will analyse tomorrow’s fraction and we will try to work out a strategy that works best for us. I will do everything it takes to hold on to the leader’s jersey, but we know it won’t be easy.”
INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS and CEO FOR PKN ORLEN
Daniel Obajtek, President of the Board of Directors and CEO for PKN ORLEN, was at the starting line this morning, and had this to say: “I’m really happy to be here at the first edition of the ORLEN NATIONS GRAND PRIX. Cycling is one of the most popular sports here in Poland, and it is rapidly expanding throughout the country. This is why Orlen decided to invest in and promote this event. Besides cycling, we have always supported lots of different Polish sports: volleyball, track-and-field, motorsports, Williams Racing with Robert Kubica and many more. We believe that a great company like ours also has a social responsibility towards our customers, and this is why we are always happy to support projects like the ORLEN NATIONS GRAND PRIX.”