Five CCC Sprandi Polkowice riders made the Polish National Team for the European Championships, which will be held in the French department of Morbihan-Bretagne (September 14th-18th).
Maciej Paterski and Łukasz Owsian will represent Poland in the elite road race, while Piotr Brożyna, Michał Paluta and Alan Banaszek will put on the white&red jersey in the U23 event. The young trio will compete for medals on September 17th, on a 150-kilometer course. It will consists of eleven, 13,7km laps, with the finish line on a short, but punchy climb in Plumelec.
I feel that I’m in good shape, although Tour de l’Avenir put its toll on me. Since then I managed to fully recover though and I will spend the last week on polishing my form – two-time U23 Polish champion, Michał Paluta explains. – I want to focus 100% on the road race. After talking to National Team coach, Marek Leśniewski and my personal coach, Luca Quinti, we’ve decided to skip the time trial and give everything in the Saturday’s event.
I know the course only from the profiles and some videos from the races held in that region. I’ve heard that it’s quite challenging and the 2-kilometer climb gets very steep in some sections. We will tackle it 11 times, so it will definitely be the decisive part of the race. I like such undulating terrain and I’m looking forwards to racing there.
Alan Banaszek is returning to European championships with positive attitude, since last year he brought home gold in the junior race. In the previous weeks he gathered few more medals, this time at the Polish Championships in track cycling in elite category, so his morale is high.
My goal for the race is to gain as much experience as I can, see where I am comparing to other riders from my category, help my teammates and execute all the tasks given to me by our coach – Alan Banaszek explains. – I think that I’m in the right, but not in the top shape. I want to be at the peak of my abilities later in the season, during world championships. I’m strong enough though to worthily represent Poland and help my teammates get good result.
For the first time in event’s history, elite category will be fighting for the title. They will race on the same circuit as espoirs, although they will have not 11 but 17 laps to cover. The riders will finish the day with 233 kilometers under their belts. Maciej Paterski and Łukasz Owsian will line up at the start on September 18th.
The last time I was wearing white&red jersey was back in 2011, also at the European Championships. They were held in Italy, in Offida and I was in the U23 category. I don’t have good memories from that day, since I had to abandon. I felt really badly and as it later turned out it was caused by some illness, which later got worse. I was very disappointed with my performance, because week before I won silver at the Nationals and felt really strong – Łukasz Owsian, two time winner of the Polish Road Mountains Championships, recalls.
To have the opportunity to race in the national colors is a big honor to me. I am happy to be selected by the National Team coach, Piotr Wadecki and I hope to be valuable part of our squad. – he adds. – From the profile it seems, that the course is very demanding, as basically there are no flat sections. I will be able to say more after the recon, since I haven’t had a chance to train or race in that region.
The sensations during training and races are good. The route also should suit me, so I’m staying positive and I hope that I will be able to fulfill the tasks which will be assigned to me.
In the previous two years Maciej Paterski represented Poland twice at the world championships. He was a member of the “gold team” in Ponferrada, played the role of the last domestique for Michał Kwiatkowski and himself finished in 17th place.
It’s been a long season, but I feel quite strong. I think I still have a lot left in the tank and I’m motivated to finish the season on a high note. I was satisfied with my performances in the last two races and my shape maintains at a solid level – CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider explains. – The course should suit everyone on our team and it appears that everyone is well prepared for this event. I don’t know what will be the strategy, but one thing I’m certain about – we will all leave everything on the road.
Before the European Championships Paterski will take part in two one-day races – Coppa Bernocchi – G.P. BPM and Coppa Agostoni – Giro delle Brianze.
These races in Italy are very hard and they will be good build up for the championships. We will be able to see where we are in terms of our form– he adds.