British riders Simon Yates and Peter Kennaugh both return to racing after spells off the bike, as the Tour of Poland WorldTour race kicks off on Tuesday

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Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) makes his return to racing at the 2016 Tour of Poland on Tuesday, as his four-month suspension for an anti-doping violation expired on Monday, July 11.

Yates tested positive for asthma drug Terbutaline at Paris-Nice in March. His Orica-BikeExchange team immediately took responsibility for it, saying that an administrative error meant that they had failed to file the correct therapeutic use exemption (TUE) certificate for the drug.

The UCI took this into account, and handed Yates a reduced four-month ban. It meant that Yates missed the Tour de France, but could start the Tour of Poland – and he heads up Orica-BikeExchange’s roster for the seven-stage event.

>>> Tour of Poland 2016 start list: full list of riders and teams

Also returning to racing is former British national champion Peter Kennaugh (Sky) who has endured a lay-off after breaking his collarbone in the Tour of California in May.

KENNAUGH Peter (GBR) Sky Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

Peter Kennaugh returns to action

Kennaugh is part of Team Sky’s eight-man squad that firmly has its sights set on a win. Polish riders Michal Kwiatkowski and Michal Golas will be keen to make an impressive on their home nation’s big race, and Italian sprinter Elia Viviani will be a front runner for the race’s sprint stages.

Viviani will come up against formidable Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) and Australian powerhouse Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) in the bunch gallops.


Watch: Men’s 2016 WorldTour contenders


After the opening five stages offering a mix of flat and hilly terrain, the race will be settled on the final two stages. Stage six is a vicious series of hills over five laps of a punishing circuit that will see the peloton whittled down. Then the final, flat 25km time trial will settle to the top order of the general classification.

Last year’s overall winner Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) does not return to defend his title, as he is supporting Nairo Quintana at the Tour de France. It leaves the way clear for a new name to be added to the list of Tour of Poland winners.

Ion Izagirre after stage seven of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Jon Izaguirre after stage seven of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Second last year, Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Soudal) will be a name to watch in the GC, as will last year’s third-placed rider Ben Hermans (BMC). Yates should also be added to the list of overall hopefuls on a parcours that suits Classics specialists as much as it does climbers.

Yates and Kennaugh join four other British riders, including national time trial champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) who will be a rider to watch in the race’s time trial.

>>> One Pro Cycling win first WorldTour wildcard with invitation to Tour of Poland

British Pro Continental team One Pro Cycling starts its first ever WorldTour race, and fields British riders Yanto Barker, Chris Opie and Peter Williams. Also in One Pro’s line-up is Marcin Bialoblocki, who caused a major upset in last year’s race by winning the time trial stage riding for the composite Polish national team.

Matteo Pelucchi wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Matteo Pelucchi wins stage three of the 2015 Tour of Poland

Tour of Poland 2016 stages

Stage 1, Tuesday July 12, Radzymin to Warsaw, 135km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage one profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage one profile

Stage 2, Wednesday July 13, Tarnowskie Góry to Katowice, 153km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage two profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage two profile

Stage 3, Thursday July 14, Zawiercie to Nowy Sacz, 240km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage three profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage three profile

Stage 4, Friday July 15, Nowy Sacz to Rzeszów, 218km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage four profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage four profile

Stage 5, Saturday July 16, Wieliczka to Zakopane, 225km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage five profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage five profile

Stage 6, Sunday July 17, Bukovina Resort to Bukowina Tatrzanska, 194km

Tour of Poland 2016 stage six profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage six profile

Stage 7, Monday July 18, Kraków to Kraków, 25km ITT

Tour of Poland 2016 stage seven profile

Tour of Poland 2016 stage seven profile