Written by Frank Holwerda of Holwerda Cycling
This will be the first edition of this Trophy Cup in honor of Patryk Drozdowski himself. The cup is held in Poland and is for the teams in the Top Division. This tour is not about time differences, but about points scored in the each of the three stages.
The Cup consists of a hard TT stage, a Climbing stage and a technical Downhill stage. The third stage is the King stage and gives more points.
The manager of Alpine brings Harold Coosemans. He is one of the best in terms of CL/DH but he had trouble winning races for his former team PegasusFlights. Will his new manager give the confidence and support needed to shine?
Andeby has Spencer Beaulieu in the team. A very allround climber who is very appropriate for this tour. He has never won a race for his manager but he has a real chance in the second stage. He is also a candidate for the podium and will hope his competitors will not score a lot of points in the opening TT stage.
Is see two possible captains in this team riding in his home country: Bekkers and Meyer. He says Gustaw Banas will be his captain, but I do not believe him. Unless it is for fun riding with a Polish captain in Poland. I can imagine. For the best captain I would advise Meyer.
Ricardo Bernaldez is a promising rider who will captain this team probably. The biggest chance for a result will be in the third stage where DH is the most important stat.
Waldemar Florczak is in Top Form, but I think Spencer Hodges is also well suited for a result in this Cup. I wonder what the team tactics will be in this team.
Jim Luysen is ready to go in this Cup, he makes more chance than Jacky Nguyen who is becoming older. Will Jim be able to fight himself inside the Top-9?
I am not sure what the tactics will be in this team. Lawrie Forster is the best option to be captain, but perhaps Infante or ?ak will have a chance to go for a result in stages or GC. Nonetheless, it will not be easy for this team to get a top-9 in the GC.
No question about who will be captain in this team. Roland Perk is joining this Cup and where he rides he rides for the top spots. He already won three races in Top Division this season including Alpe d`Huez Classic. Even without Top Form this rider is a candidate for the podium.
Equipo Easy On
This all Bahamas team is here to honor Patryk Drozdowski and to join breakaways. Good luck to this team!
Paul-Edouard Tassard is a good rider for this tour. Joel Carter will be back from injury just in time, but it is not ideal. The best way for points is in the second stage where Tassard could do something special.
Geomar Nibali will be the captain and especially the third stage is perfectly suited for him. He is a candidate for the podium and a possible winner of the third stage.
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Sal Dambrosio is the favourite for the cup. He is the one to beat in the third stage, but also in the second stage he will ride for the win. Special about him is that he could also get a result in the TT.
Mark Pro Team
This team has problems getting results this season and I am afraid this Cup will not make it better. The riders in this team do not seem good enough to be able to compete with the other climbers. But who knows what Jang-han Pung or Nam-hoon Noe can do.
MOVISTAR KELME TEAM
This team is targeting the first stage and the first stage alone. Georgio Felici will try to win the first TT stage and after that, it will be about breakaways.
Zdislav Kyncl is getting older. Is he still good enough to captain this team, or will the manager choose top downhiller Klaes Johansson? They might switch captaincy where Kyncl will try to win the second stage and where Johansson will target the third stage.
Alexander Seefeldt seems to be eager to shine in this Cup and new team mate Bernard Sites will be trying to help him. Or will Sites decide to go for his own chances when the Seefeldt fails to score in the second stage?
Schiavi di Don
Tobias Mørk and Montrel Fuzzolino will have to fight for the captaincy, but I doubt one of them is good enough for a result in the GC. But The Don is always a force to be reckoned with. Watch out for this team!
This all Burundi team has Aimable Ntahosendera to bring in for the second stage. Everybody loves him, but do not be fooled. He is really good and could get a nice result.
The best chance for a result for this team is in the first stage, because all the riders are good time-trialists. For the GC they will not play a significant role.
Timothy de Reyck is the best rider from this team and he will get a chance to get a result in the second stage. I think he will not be a thread to the GC guys, he is not the best rider for the third stage.
Also a team for which I do not know who will be captain. So many strong riders, I would have a problem picking a captain. But if I had to make a choice I would go for Senel Seyhan. In the third stage he could ride for a top-3 spot and that would make him a contender for the GC as well.
Birk Backe is another candidate for the top-9 in the GC and especially the second stage is the moment to watch out for this great climber.
The manager picks out his races very carefully, but now he seems to be in for the fun. Heinrich Löwe is a good rider, but he will fall short for a result probably.
This team is not here for the GC, but also not just for fun. The first stage is the target and several riders could get a result or even a win. Joel Tammsaar is my favourite in this team.
Prediction for the stages:
*** Georgio Felici
** Bill Fairleigh, Sal Dambrosio
* Vincent Currie, Joel Tammsaar, Rick Cramer, Paul Crawford
*** Spencer Beaulieu
** Sal Dambrosio, Harold Coosemans, Geomar Nibali
* Roland Perk, Birk Backe, Aimable Ntahosendera
*** Sal Dambrosio
** Geomar Nibali, Harold Coosemans, Spencer Beaulieu
* Senel Seyhan, Spencer Hodges, Alexander Seefeldt, Roland Perk
Prediction for the GC
*** Sal Dambrosio
** Spencer Beaulieu, Harold Coosemans, Geomar Nibali
* Roland Perk, Senel Seyhan, Spencer Hodges, Birk Backe