1 ST VISEGRAD BICYCLE RACE

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At least 17 ½ hours of tough competition, a 533-kilometre route in four countries with mountain climbs in Slovakia, descents in the Czech Republic, and close to 300 amateur cyclists – these are just some of the numbers describing the 1st Visegrad Bicycle Race that will kick off in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, on 17 May and finish in the Polish city of Krakow on 18 May.

Friday 17 May — Saturday 18 May 2013

Budapest-Krakow

On 5 April in Warsaw Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, the Director General of Lang Team, Czesław Lang and Sport and Tourist Minister Joanna Mucha presented the concept of the race, its route and conditions for interested athletes. The race’s main objectives are to promote cooperation between Visegrad Group (V4) countries among the societies of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and other European and Eastern Partnership countries, and to highlight Poland’s V4 Presidency. 5 April saw similar press briefings in other V4 capitals, i.e. Bratislava, Budapest and Prague. 

The idea of a bicycle race uniting V4 countries came from Minister Radosław Sikorski, who – drawing on the legendary Peace Race event – presented the V4 Bicycle Race concept during his visits to the V4 capitals on 4 and 5 June 2012 that inaugurated the Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group. The Polish minister’s initiative was endorsed by his V4 counterparts: Karel Schwarzenberg from the Czech Republic, Miroslav Lajčák from Slovakia and János Martonyi from Hungary, which means that the race has a chance of becoming a regular event. 

Up to 300 athletes – both male and female – will take part in the race’s individual and team classifications. The teams will consist of five to ten cyclists, with the best results of only the three top competitors included in the final score. The prizes total 100,000 euros and were funded by V4 foreign ministers. Winners of the men’s and women’s classifications will receive 5,000 euros each. Prizes will be awarded to thirty top athletes, with special prizes for the best competitors representing the Eastern Partnership countries. 

The event’s main organizer is Lang Team, a company with long experience in staging bicycle races. The V4 Race will be accompanied by a number of events, including picnics and cycling parades, which will be mounted along the route and in V4 capital cities. The registration will begin in April. To take part in the competition, cyclists will have to accept the rules and regulations and fill in a form available on www.visegradbicyclerace.com. The Visegrad Bicycle Race partners and sponsors are Azoty Group, ČEZ, Lotos, MOL, Tauron and TriGranit.

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The Polish Presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) began on 1 July 2012 and will conclude on 30 June 2013. This is Poland’s fourth Presidency of the Visegrad Group. On 15 June 2012, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland adopted the programme of the Polish V4 Presidency, which has been officially presented during the summit of prime ministers of the Visegrad Group held in Prague on 22 June 2012. “Visegrad 4 for Integration and Cohesion” is the main theme of the Polish V4 chairmanship. The focus of the Presidency is above all to enhance cooperation of the V4 countries on issues most relevant to the region and the EU.

 One of the priorities accomplished during the Polish Presidency was the drafting of a consistent position of V4 states in negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014‑2020. Other objectives of the Polish Presidency are to deepen collaboration in the fields of security and defence, reduce cross‑border infrastructure discontinuities of the development axes in the region, support the development of contacts between civil societies, assist the pro-integration aspirations of the Western Balkan countries, and develop and implement the Eastern Partnership.

http://www.visegradbicyclerace.com

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