Stanisław Aniołkowski and Attila Valter ready for U-23 road race

Two CCC Development Team’s riders: Stanisław Aniołkowski and Attila Valter will take part in U-23 road ride at world championships in Yorkshire. For safety reasons, the organizers and UCI decided to shorten the route by one lap in Harrogate. After those changes cyclists will have 173 km to ride.

– The final laps are quite technical, there are a lot of uncomfortable turns. In addition, there are several climbs, including one tough – Harlow Moor Road. In the beginning it’s very steep – for the first 600 meters there is about 10% gradient, on the next 600 meters it drops a little to 5-6% – analyzes Stasiek Aniołkowski. A CCC Development Team rider adds that rain may be an additional difficulty – especially while riding on laps. – If the surface gets wet, you will need to slow down in corners. And as all hills are situated after corners, we will start them at low speed. It will require a lot of effort to be in the first group – explains Aniołkowski.

But before the cyclists enter the city laps, they will have to face a nearly 150-kilometers hilly route from Doncaster to Harrogate. – There are some 300 – 400 metres long hills and climbs. All of them are quite stiff with more than 10% gradient – says Stasiek Aniołkowski. The main 4 kilometer climb – Greenhow Hill is located about 20 km before entering  the city laps. According to organizers, its average gradient should be around 7,5-8%. – This climb begins with a steep wall, which has a gradient of about 20%, later it goes down to 15%. For the first kilometer gradient is over 10%. Then, until the peak, we have about 6% – explains our rider. Aniołkowski also adds that this climb may be the climax of the race.

20 km from Greenhow Hill to the rounds in Harrogate. This is where cyclists who prefer mountain riding can decide to attack. – On the other hand, it will be harder for sprinters to start this climb in the first group. They will have to chase if there is an attack. The question is whether they could catch the breakaway before the laps. As I mentioned earlier – there is also a climb on the laps. If someone attacks there, it may turn out that this can succeed. We will try to go wisely. We have good riders who will be able to fight at group finish and in these hills – adds Stasiek Aniołkowski.

– I think this race will be a lottery. It’s hard to predict who will win. Looking at the route – there is a good chance for the group finish. But it may turn out that one of the stronger sprinters will be the winner. On the other hand – if the group does not chase together, it can be that the breakaway will get their chance – says Attila Valter.

– This race may also look different due to changes of the route – so the distance from the most demanding climb to the finish is shorter . And this can become an additional motivation for a breakaway. I can promise that I will do my best and fight for the best possible result. I also hope that this time we will race in better weather conditions – adds Hungarian, for whom this year’s world championships did not start well. Attila had a dangerous looking crash during individual time trial.

– Indeed, this competition started for me in the worst possible way. Fortunately, I’m ok and I will be able to start on Friday. Of course, I’m disappointed after ITT. It was an important race to me, my coach Kuba Pieniążek prepared me very well for it. We had a detailed plan and I was following the instructions until this crash. It has been one of the worst crashes in my career so far – says Attila Valter. – I fell into a hole on the road. As it was raining and this part of the road was flooded with water, I was not able to see it. I saw the replays on the internet and I am very happy that I got out of it unscathed. I could finish the race and prepare myself for the next challenge which is road race – adds Valter.

Men U-23 road race will start at 3:00 pm Polish time. The end of the race is expected around 19:30. Broadcast in Eurosport and TVP Sport.