The Tour de Pologne will honour rider Bjorg Lambrecht in the 2020 edition, after the Belgian rider lost his life in last year’s edition of the race.
On August 5, 2019, Lambrecht suffered a heavy crash during the third stage of the Polish race and hours later he died in a hospital in Rybnik. The fourth stage of the race was neutralised as respect for the Belgian rider.
The Tour de Pologne has decided to retire the number 143, the race will start with a minute of silence and the Young Riders Classification will be named after him. The 2020 edition of the race will start on August 5 from the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, concidentally one year after the death of the rider.
“Bjorg will be with us forever,” said Tour de Pologne General Director Czeslaw Lang. “We will never forget him. The decision to reserve the number 143 was made a few months ago unanimously. But we want to cultivate this memory in a variety of ways.”
Lotto Soudal will be at the start line in Poland with a very strong roster that includes the winner of the 2016 edition of the race Tim Wellens, John Degenkolb, Thomas De Gendt and Tomasz Marczynski. “We want to pay tribute to Bjorg’s memory as well as thank the organizers and the Polish fans for all their amazing support,” said the team’s chief John Lelangue.
“They were with us and encouraged us in the most difficult moments. We will never forget that, just as we will never forget Bjorg. The number 143 is featured on our team cars and is in the official team communication. I am very glad that, at the end of the race, the best young cyclist will receive a special Bjorg prize. It will be extremely symbolic.”
For Marczynski -who will rider his ninth Tour de Pologne and is one of the favourites for the local fans- this will be a special edition of the race. “Sure, the memory of Bjorg is such an additional motivation for all of us,” he explained.
“I believe it will give us strength in crucial moments. We want to fight for the highest goals, so that we can dedicate this success to him. I will certainly have something symbolic with me, in memory of Bjorg. Maybe it will be a symbol on my helmet, maybe on my shoes.”