Bikes of Race Through Poland 2023
18 May, 2023
The Race through Poland is back! The fifth edition kicks off on May 20th. One of the most exciting races on the calendar, this is the brainchild of Piko Pulawski, veteran of countless ultra races and a legend in his own right.
RTP is a free-route race in the classic format: Start, finish and four checkpoints with accompanying parcours in Slovakia, Czechia and Poland that ensure riders visit some of the most demanding mountain roads this part of Europe has to offer.
Read on below to learn how each rider has equipped themselves for their own route and the mountains that beckon.
Follow along with veteran commentator, Jesko von Werthern's, commentary here.
Name: Thomas Chateau
Cap number: 229A (Pair with Matthieu Lifschitz 229B)
Location: Le Mans / France
Bike: FAIRLIGHT Secan 2.0, a Reynolds 853 frame with SHIMANO Grx800 groupset, HOPE wheels with CHALLENGE Strada Bianca tubetype 40mm open tyres and SON 28 dynamo hub for lights and for my IGARO D1 usb converter (very efficient even at slow speed). HELMUT EQUIPEMENT bags for the storage of my full randonneur package : PAJAK sleeping bag (from Poland), SEA TO SUMMIT mat and liner, OUTDOOR RESEARCH bivy, ENLIGHTENMENT EQUIPMENT climashield jacket. Almost same kit as for TCRNo8.
Key items of kit: In view of the amount of steep climbs in the program (merci Piko!), I modified my transmission with SPECIALTIES T.A. 44/28 chainrings and a SRAM 11/36 cassette.
Name: Tomek Jędrzejewski
Cap number: 225a
Location: Opole, Poland
Bike: Mason Bokeh, SRAM Rival AXS XPLR 40/10-44, Evanlite New Gravel wheels with Panaracer Gravelking+ slick 35mm tyres.
Key items of kit: Custom made bags by Baby Legs Bags. 2x Hammerhead Karoo V2. 2x Fidlock bottle. Controltech aero bar with 60 mm spacer.
Name: Maja Naumczyk
Cap number: 76
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Bike: Kona Sutra Ltd. Usually my all terrain companion but this time fitted with slick 32c tyres, making it a strong competitor and likely winner of the most unnecessary amount of tyre clearance category. 34t chainring and 10-42 cassette should come in handy on the climbs though!
Key items of kit: Good waterproofs, warm clothes and lightweight sleep system for warm, dry nights in saddlebag, will be using accommodation if it gets miserable. Tools and spares in home made down tube bag. Water bladder, extra layers and bits and bobs in Ride and Get Lost custom frame bag. Wahoo element bolt to hopefully not get too lost. Extra bottle for carbohydrate mix and electrolyte on fork. Aero bar mounted snack bucket to avoid knee chafe on climbs. Remaining bits and bobs in restrap top tube bag. No dynamo so will be taking a few powerbanks and using a mixture of lezyne lights and petzl head torch for lighting.
Name: Jan Wollaert
Cap number: 98
Location: Laarne near Gent, Belgium
Bike: Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc 1 2021 with Shimano Ultegra mechanical and a power meter. Continental 5000 S TCR 28mm tyres. Ergon SR Pro Carbon saddle. KCNC aerobars.
Key items of kit: Bags: Cyclite handle bar aero bag, Apidura racing top tube long, Acepac foodpouch and Ortlieb seatpack 11L.
Lights: front Fenix BC26R with backup battery, head Fenix HM61R with backup battery and rear Fenix BC05Rv2 + Leyzene Strip Drive Pro.
GPS: Wahoo Bolt V2 and Coros Vertix 2.
Sleeping system: SOL Escape Bivy for in case of emergency, planning to sleep in hotels.
Name: Radu Cristian
Cap number: 16
Location: Ploiesti, Romania
Bike: Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 8.0; DT Swiss custom wheels with dynamo, Continental 4 Season tyres, 2×11 drivetrain with 50/34 chainrings and 40t cassette.
Key items of kit: I’m using a full complement of Apidura Racing packs: Long Top Tube Pack; Frame pack; Saddle Pack; Handlebar Pack; 2x Backcountry Food Pouch, for navigation Garmin Edge 1030 and for sleep Sea to Summit sleeping bag.
Name: Jędrzej Gąsiorowski
Cap number: 38
Location: Łomianki, Poland
Bike: This is my bike. Just bike... However - if anyone is curious about the details - it’s old, rusty (but hey, red!) Roubaix SL3 from 2012 equipped with 10-speed Ultegra 6700 groupset: customized 48-34 crankset and 12-30 cassette (any lower bid on the largest cog here?). It comes on 38mm Falcon wheels with 28mm tubeless tires, but anyway a couple of tubes wait in my equipment for possible punctures which are not going to be sealed.
Key items of kit: I’m using a set of three Apidura bags (14l saddle pack, 4,5l frame pack and 1l top tube pack) which allow me to hold all the stuff: warm clothes, tools and spare parts, basic first aid kit, backup lighting, energy supply (for electronic devices and myself), thin down sleeping bag, self-inflated pad and NRC foil.
Name: Piotr Gdowski
Cap number: 31
Location: Wrocław, PL
Bike: Cube Peloton 2014 with beloved Shimano Sora Triple, Vittoria Rubino Pro 25mm tyres and new Vision Team 35 wheels.
Key items of kit: Apidura Expedition 14L + Top Tube 1.8L, Mactronic Vizo + Wall-E as a light setup.
Name: Arno Burgi
Cap number: 12
Location: Dresden, Germany
Bike: Sour "Purple Haze" steel frame + carbon fork. Many thanks for the support Christop. Shimano GRX 810 2x11 Speed. Front wheel: DT Swiss with Shimano dynamo Rear wheel: NEWMEN Evolution SL R.32. Tires: Continental Grand Prix 5000 AS Tubless 28mm. Handlebar: Newman carbon + Profil Design.
Key items of kit: Seat pack: Tailfin AeroPack Carbon. Sam, many thanks for the support! Top tube: Apidura Racing long top tube (2L), frame bag: Mort Cap #4. Nutrion: Sport Import. Cycling clothing: Albion cycling, Assos, La Passione, Gore Wear. Saddle: Terry Ateria Fly Men. Front light: B&M IQ-X 100. Second light: Lupine Piko. Back lights: Smart Systems (battery). Navigation: Wahoo Element Bolt v2. Power supply: APPCON 3000. NC-17 CONNECT.
A special thanks to Carsten Bischoff www.bikepoint.de for all your support
Name: Joanna Ruminska-Pietrzyk
Cap number: #5
Location: Krakow, Poland
Bike: Canyon Endurace SL 2019, Shimano Ultegra Di2, Reynolds carbon wheels, GP Continental tyres 30 mm tubeless, Bontrager aluminium aerobars (sadly, I had to ditch my favourite Canyon aerocockpit as no aerobars would fit), AbsoluteBlack oval chainrings 50/34 , Ultegra 11-34 casette, Son Delux dynamo hub + Son Edelux frontlight + dynamo-powered USB charger (from a little known Polish brand MD14). For carrying things, I'll be using a Tailfin aeropack (I'm really hoping that Taifil will deliver on its promise of ease of access to things on the go!) and an Apidura long tube bag.
Key items of kit: I'll be taking a half-sized Pajak sleeping bag (complemented by a Patagonia Micro Puff hoody) and a Nordisk self-inflating mattress (hopefully, this setup will let me rest and recover without having to waste time on looking for hotels - but a lot will depend on the weather).
Name: Sylwia Kuropatwa
Cap number: 49
Location: Pabianice, Poland
Bike: My bike is Specialized Roubaix from 2016 with Ultegra Di2. Tires are Continental GP 5000 30 mm.
Key items of kit: Saddle bag and both frame bags are from Apidura, front bag is from polish manufacturer Pathfinder. For navigation I'll use Garmin eTrex 32x and additionally Garmin Edge 520 Plus. Front lights are Mactronic Noise 03 and Lezyne Helmet. Back lights are Bontrager Flare and some Prox. For sleeping I'll take sleeping bag from Cumulus and SOL Escape Bivy.
Name: Matthieu Lifschitz
Cap number: 229B
Bike: I will be racing my first Race Through Poland (in a pair) with Gaby (my bike’s nickname). It’s a 2019 Victoire Cycles custom steel Columbus. SRAM Force 1 groupset upgraded with kit Ratio Technology 12s + Garbaruk 38 T + SRAM 10-50 T. Handcrafted wheels: Mavic Allroad Carbon rims + Mavic rear hub / Son dynamo front hub / Sapim spokes. Michelin tubeless Power Adventure 700×42 tyres. Front light / USB charger Sinewave Beacon and rear Son.
Key items of kit: Bags: Most of the setup are from Helmut Equipment, in high visibility X-pac. + Wit Slingers pouch + Cyclite aerobar bag. The bag setup set is definitely my highlight. It allows me to store the different elements clearly and to access them quickly.
Name: Philipp Hanneck
Cap number: 36
Location: Dresden, Germany
Bike: I´ll again take my 2020 Canyon Endurace Al Disc. Compare to last year, it has been updated with new Wheels running on a 28mm tubless set up. - Duke C27 Rims combined with DT-Swiss Hub in the back and Son Hub Dynamo in front.
Key items of kit: To the Kit, I´m using Apidura bags, Navigation - Garmin Edge 1040, Poco M3 as back up, Supernova Lights, Lumi-con energy havester, some warm clothes, gloves and a rain jacket, backup tubes and a LOT of patches to get through slovakian gravel roads.
Name: Thomas Günsel
Cap number: 52
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Bike: Rose Reveal Four Di2
Key items of kit: Framebag and Top tube bag of fast-n-light bikepacking gears from Bratislava. Absolutely amazing!
Name: Ede Harrison
Cap number: 8
Bike: All City Nature Boy Hunt 4050 wheelset w/ 28mm GP5000s. Shimano 105 / GRX / Wolf Tooth groupset (38 x 11-42).
Key items of kit: Apidura and Ortlieb bags. Exposure and Moon Nebula lights.
Name: Aleksander Pachulski
Cap number: #79
Location: Sopot, Poland
Bike: Canyon Grizl CF Sl7 in road attire (Panaracer Gravel King slick 700x32m) mix of SRAM rival/force axs. Jack Pack bikepacking bags- I may change saddle bag for a size larger one. Bocialarka s21 for main front light and extra bontrager flare lights. Garmin edge 1040 solar to show me where to go. Fancy looking coefficient AR handlebar. XTR mtb pedals.
Key items of kit: Jack Pack long top tube bag for all the snacks and on-the-go essentials. PEdALED Mirai alpha jacket to beat the unpredictable water 😂
Name: Michał Orchulski
Cap number: 228b
Location: Łódź, Poland
Bike: Canyon Endurance CF, Shimano 105 2x11 (52/36; 11-34). Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 900DB. Tyres: Schwalbe One 30mm.
Key items of kit: Bags: Topeak BackLoader 10L, Rhinowalk frame bag 3L, Deuter small frame bag. Front lights: Mactronic Noise XTR 04 & Mactronic Scream 3.1. Back lights: 2x Mactronic Walle.
Name: Juhani Saario
Cap number: 85
Location: Oulu, Finland
Bike: I’ll be riding the Race Trough Poland on a Merida CYCLO CROSS 100, a great value, versatile bike. The bike features a new pair of Continental GP5000STR 30mm tires mounted on elitewheels BWT disc45 wheels, a 1×11 drivetrain with a 44T chainring, and 11-42T cassette. Cable actuated TPR Spyre SLC disc brakes 160mm rotors front and rear. I’ll be sitting on a 152mm PRO Griffon saddle. One other modification to note is an extra narrow HUP 32cm handlebar.
Key items of kit: Food, clothes, and spare parts reside in a large ROCKBROS 14L seat bag. More frequently needed items are stored in a large Blackburn Outpost frame bag. Two 0.8L water bottles are mounted in cages inside the main triangle. A small ruggedized smartphone with the Komoot app will serve as my navigation device, allowing for easy modifications to the route while riding. The phone is mounted neatly on the end of the steerer tube with the stem bolt, further decluttering the cockpit area.
Name: Jarek Oglecki
Cap number: 070
Location: Opole, Polska
Bike: BMC URS
Key items of kit: Restrap bikepacks.
Name: Mateusz Kotowski
Cap number: 41
Location: Wrocław, Poland
Bike: Hultaj custom bike: Custom-built steel frame with carbon gravel fork, Shimano GRX RX810 groupset (2x11 with 812 rear derailleur), Miche Graff wheels with Continental Grand Prix 4-Season 32mm tires.
Key items of kit: Tailfin AeroPack; Apidura Racing Top Tube Pack; sleeping bag mounted at front with Voile straps.
Name: Michel Kaden
Cap number: 48
Bike: I will ride my trusted 8bar Mitte v2 Steel with Shimano GRX components. For the offroad sections and potentially bad roads on my route I chose durable Teravail Rampart 32mm.
Key items of kit: I am using saddle bag from Ortlieb filled with my sleep system consisting of a Forclaz sleeping bag and a Therm-a-Rest mat. My Ortlieb frame pack is filled with a wild mix of stuff. My Restrap top tube bag and food pouch contain my fuel and repair kit.
Name: Tadeas Mahel
Cap number: 75
Location: Prague, Czechia
Bike: Endurace CF SL 8 Di2
Key items of kit: Apidura Expedition set
Name: Wiktor Bar
Cap number: 19
Bike: Triban RC520 with Shimano GRX 2x11 30/46 x 11-34t. Tubeless slick 32mm.
Key items of kit: Sleeping system: mattress, sleeping bag, silk liner, tarp.
Name: Tomas Kovacs
Cap number: 67
Bike: Omnium CXC Ti slim, Zipp 303s, 32mm GP 5000, GRX 810 2x11, Brooks C15, deda X decathlon aerobars.
Key items of kit: Restrap race toptube bag, Wahoo Roam 2, Nemo Tensor ultralight sleeping mat, reusable emergency blanket, ZMI 25000mAh quickcharge in/out powerbank, JBL Clip 3, Topeak ratchet multitool, Fenix rear/front/headlights, SKS raceblade front mudguard, broken Topeak Wishbone bottle-hanger and Voile straps everywhere.
Name: Christian Jung
Cap number: 57
Location: Welle, Germany
Bike: I am riding my Rose Backroad AXS Mullet Build equipped with a 12-speed SRAM X01 Eagle rear derailleur and SRAM Force eTap AXS brakes. In addition, a Profile Design Legacy 2 aero handlebar is fitted. for comfortable travel and bad roads, the WTB 650bx47mm tyres are used.
Key items of kit: I use Apidura bags for my equipment. for the nights i have my BIG AGNES UL 40 sleeping bag and my Sea to Summit Ultralight sleeping pad with the Aeros pillow. I use a Pedal Cell dynamo to power my technical devices and my lighting. I don't like headphones so I use an Anker Soundcore Mini 3 for my entertainment/motivation (and to keep bears away). My lighting is Lupine Neo on the bike and on the helmet and a Lupine Rotlicht as a rear light. I navigate with my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2.
Name: Karol Kamyczek
Cap number: #39
Location: Poznań / Poland
Bike: Another year for riding my beloved: True Love Roadkill steel all road bike / Dandy Horse Pulsar 45 wheals / Sram Force AXS group / SON dynamo Hub + Sinewave Revolution / B&M IQ-X + Supernova tail lights / Conti GP 5000 TR tires / Profile Design aerobars / Selle Italia X-LR saddle
Key items of kit: All of my bags are made by a small polish brand called Babylegsbags: I'm using the saddle bag for my spare clothes, frame bag for tools and spares, top tube bag for my most frequently used: cables, power bank and headphones and the one I'm most proud of and happy to co-design: a easy accessible aero-bar bag where I keep all my fuel, I mean snacks :). For navigation I use a Wahoo bolt, I packed a lot of clothes for the unpredictable weather and no-sleeping kit, since I'm planning on staying in b'n'b - works best for me.
Name: Blazej Komander
Cap number: 225b
Location: Ownice, Poland
Bike: Karamba custom made steel frame, Shimano GRX shifters and gear mixed with SRAM Rival crankset, H PLUS SON rims with HOPE rear hub and SON28 dynamo hub in front, Pirelli Cinturato tyres.
Key items of kit: Ultra light bags from Baby Legs Bags (whole set weights only 650 grams), Profile Design aerobar, Wahoo Roam as a navigation, Supernova E3 Pro headlight.