The victory of Adrian Honkisz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) ended the tenth edition of Tyskie Kryterium Fiata. The Podium of the elite was complemented by: Adam Pierzga (Mostostal Puławy) and Paweł Bernas (GKS Cartusia Kartuzy). Among juniors, a display of riding skills was given by Patryk Stosz (UKS Stobrawa Kluczbork), and among women the best ones were Paulina Brzeźna-Bentkowska (Atom Boxmet Dzierżoniów) and Magdalena Plich (BDC Kolejarz Jura Częstochowa).
Tychy has hosted the criterium for the tenth time already. A year ago, when all the rivals were outclassed by Adam Pierzga (then in Gwada Bikers 118), there were complaints about the little popularity of the race among the professional riders of our domestic peloton. The just arrived from Guadeloupe rider doubled the peloton and the advantage of his level over the other, lesser-known contestants was literally glaring. Last year lacked in names, in teams, and although it didn’t lack in prizes, fears started about the future of this one of more interesting Silesian events. These fears were definitely dispelled by this year’s event, though.
Silesia welcomed the contestants with quite tropical heat. Participants of all categories, from children, students to VIPs and Oldboys competed in those not easy conditions, from as early as 10 a.m. The competitions took place in a two-kilometre long circuit near the Paprocany lake and the Piramida hotel. The course, not an easy one and according to some even a murderous one, was bathed in scorching sunlight, which definitely did not make life easy to the riders, but which added value to the event for the equally suffering in the heat spectators.
Above all, however, the value for the fans and spectators, was constituted by the riders of whom unusually big crowds arrived in Tychy, which was certainly much an effect of the values of the prizes, as it does not happen at Polish races that the best female junior gets 500 zlotys, the winner of the elite 3 thousand zlotys, and the paid places included the best fifteen places. Following the western-European trends one would like to ask: ‘Where is a Fiat for the first place?’, but moving back to the Polish land, one must admit that the pool of prizes was really impressive and attractive.
In the elite women the triumph belonged to quite a rider, Paulina Brzeźna-Bentkowska, newly-awarded with a silver medal of the national championships and a substitute rider of the national team in the coming very soon Olympic Games in London. The second place was won by our another silver medal winner, the U-23 rider, Natalia Mielnik. Both riders of the LKS Atom Boxmet Dzierżoniów team, cooperating harmoniously, overtook Magdalena Pyrgies (GK Merida Gliwice). In the junior classification the best one was another star of the domestic cycling, the time trial champion of Poland Magdalena Plich (BDC Kolejarz Jura Częstochowa).
The competing among juniors ended very interestingly, being in fact a one-actor play by Patryk Stosz. Although he gathered a bit fewer points than Marcin Bijak (UKS GK Zagłębie Sosnowiec) he impressed spectators with his active and gamely attitude, especially in the final part of the race. The representative of UKS Stobrawa Kluczbork served a double to all his friends. Maybe unnecessarily, but it was good to watch and that’s it.
The more you get into it, the more complicated it gets, so the emotions reached their peak during the joint race of the U-23 elite, and even a long time before it, when you could watch more and more stars of the Polish peloton arrive at the local car park. Representatives were sent by the great threesome: CCC, BDC and BGŻ. The ‘orange’ team’s ranks included, apart from Honkisz and Zieliński, the newly awarded with the silver medal of the Championships of Poland, performing really great this season, Sylwester Janiszewski. There were five BGŻ riders, one may wonder what for, as that did not translate into especially good final results: the highest ranked one of them, in the 7th place, was Michał Podlaski. The rest of his companions found themselves outside the best ten riders, although all of them finished the race. The ‘smurfs’, in turn, put their bets on youngsters, as usual, this time Kacper Gronkiewcz and Konrad Kott. Those, however, did not finish the race. In Tychy an uncommon on roads phenomenon appeared – Wojciech Halejak (HP Sferis), also Piotr Zieliński (VC Pays de Lorient) came, as well as several riders from KTK Kalisz, Cartusia Kartuzy and Wibatech.
Right before the start, with the increase in the temperature and air humidity, at the request of the riders and sporting directors, the Commissioner David Sobura decided to reduce the number of circuits, and thus the length of the course, from 60 to 48 kilometres. A relief appeared on the riders’ faces after hearing that news, but it disappeared soon after riding the first two laps in the windless heat. However, with determined faces they launched further attacks. In the first part of the race the double silver-medal winner of the Championships of Poland, Paweł Bernas – who, although still representing Cartusia, would certainly like to show his best side to his future employer, that is BDC – stayed longer at the front of the peloton. At the halftime of the competition Bernas’s action was eliminated by the defender of the title Adam Pierzga (Mostostal Puławy). Soon only Adrian Honkisz (CCC Polsat Polkowice) was able to stick to Pierzga, while Bernas, tired, rode back to the peloton, or rather to one of the few smaller groups.
In the further laps the duet Pierzga-Honkisz, cooperating harmoniously in the break-away, managed to work out almost a minute’s lead, on their way settling the valuable primes between themselves. Honkisz, first also at the finishing line, won by three points, leaving the second place to Pierzga and the third to Bernas, who this time won in the younger category. The U-23 podium, after an active ride, was complemented by: Mateusz Nowak (KTK Kalisz) and Mieszko Bulik (TC Chrobry Felt Głogów). At the end, as usual, the award ceremony took place, and after that riders’ payday, especially ceremonial in Tychy.
Summing up, everything positive, including the perfectly fitted idea to shorten the course, which did well the riders, spectators, the media and the referees. The organizer, the multiple medal-winning former rider, most pleasant Zygmunt Hanusik, deserves praise, which I would like to combine with wishes of more such races in our Polish cycling calendar.
source: pro-cycling.org, Aneta Wójcik