Grzegorz Stepniak – sprinter CCC Polsat Polkowice who has two weeks to open the season at the Tour de San Luis gave an interview to the portal naszosie.pl.
Grzegorz, New Year’s Eve is behind us, so you can tell the readers where did you spent Monday night?
I spent the New Year’s Eve together with my girlfriend at the sea shore. Simply, because in the morning I had to go on the bike (laughs).
In the previous season, You were the most effective sprinter in Poland. You scored hat-trick in the Baltic-Giant-Tour and won, first in your career, a victory in the race UCI, on stage Race around Mazovia. Which of those victories was special for you?
I think I enjoyed the most at the Race Around the Mazovia, especially because it was my first winning after a long break, without any success. Before this event, I had a drop in form. Fortunately, I was able to get out of the hole.
The year 2012 showed that at the finishes You did very well, and your spring duels with Konrad Dąbkowskim (BDC MarcPol), was very exciting. What do You thing, who will be dangerous in the sprint ends?
In my opinion, except Kondrat, in the coming season Adrian Tekliński will be one of the fastest players (Bank BGZ Team). I have known Adrian very well. We are friends because we trained together in the Stal Grudziądz Team and I know that if he does something , he does it very well. I think he will be a black horse in sprints this season 2013.
Since we talk about “Dąbek” I have to ask you about this annoying for you an incident, when in Zary at the finish of the fifth stage, you lifted your hands up too early and your opponent secured a victory. It was a good lesson for you?
I have the impression that some people better remember this incident than my victory (laughs). But seriously, after the incident later in the season, I stopped pedaling two meters after the finish – as the Baltic-Giant Tour. I can assure everyone that this situation occurred in the first and last time.
You are in the composition of the CCC at the Tour de San Luis. There are a few flat sections, so you’ll have the opportunity to face with cyclists such as Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma – Quick Step), and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling). For all the first start of the season, so you manage to beat British cyclists (laughs)?
Yes, thanks to the fact that our CCC Polsat Polkowice team was promoted to the second division, I had the pleasure of racing such as the Cavendish, and Sagan. Certainly I have the will to fight me and I’ll do everything to show the good side. I think my physical preparation will be good because our sponsor CCC and Polkowice Municipality are organizing the second grouping in Spain and kilometer base will be very good.
A year ago you were a continental team and did not have the opportunity to compete with such players. But you rode with Volta ao Alentejo and Rond de l’Oise. There were a few solid, European sprinters: Sebastien Chavanel and Matteo Pelucchi (both Europcar) or Nico Eeckhout (An Post Sean Kelly). The difference between them and Poland is huge?
When it comes to the speed at the finish, I did not see any significant difference here. However, the speed of the stage and the last 10-15 kilometers you can see the difference between us and the West. Speeds at these moments are much higher than ours.
You’re already behind two groupings. One in Poland, and more recently, along with other “orange”, who will start the season earlier you trained in Spain. So what kind of the atmosphere is accompanied in the new composition?
The new cyclists in the CCC are cyclists who I know very well. The team is self-motivated, the atmosphere is good, and I hope that we show good results in this season.
How are your preparations for the season so far? And can you tell the readers what are you doing in training to improve your speed?
Let it remain my secret (laughs)
This year’s Polish Championship will be held in Sobotka. On our portal we showed a profile of the route. There is Tąpadła Pass. Uphill is not long, but after defeating him several times, and 200 km in the legs will not be easy. What do you think? It will be a chance to finish with a large group?