Paterski eyes one-day races

Maciej Paterski is coming off arguably his best season in his professional career. He made his dream come true by winning the stage of the UCI World Tour race, but he is still eager for more and will try to make the 2016 season even more successful. 

How did you spent the off-season? Did you have a chance to go on a vacation?

I had time to do it, but I preferred to stay at home. I had so many racing days last year I traveled so much that I didn’t feel like going anywhere. I spent the off-season on recovering. 2015 was extremely hard and the final, autumn races took their toll on me. I came back to working out at the beginning of November. I spent a lot of time in a gym, but bike was also a part of my exercise.

In December you flew to Gran Canaria. Is it becoming your pre-season tradition?

When I was riding for Liquigas, I would usually spent December in Italy. Last year, me and Bartek Matysiak, decided to go to Gran Canaria and we really liked it. It offers great terrain and roads to ride the bike, perfect weather and also things to do, when you’re off the bike and you just want to get some rest. This time it was three of us, since Grzegorz Stępniak joined us.

You kicked off the year with a team training camp in Calpe. How is your form at this time of the year? 

Last season cost me a lot of energy and it took me a long time to fully recover and get back the freshness. In Gran Canaria and then in Calpe I found my rhythm back and now everything is back to normal. I feel good and can’t wait for first races.

Can you tell us more about your first part of the 2016 season?

I will inaugurate the season in Spain, with Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia, Clasica de Almeria and Ruta del Sol. My plan is to be aggressive, get in the breakaways and switch my body to racing mode. Last year I was 6th in Murcia, and since the finale suits me I hope to do well also this time. Ruta del Sol might be too hard for me, but I will still try to leave my mark there.

Then I will take part in Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo. I’ll be aiming mostly at those two one-day races, since the course of both of them fits me well. This year I won’t be at the Volta a Catalunya, where I won the stage year ago. That would be too much of racing for such a short period.

Do you miss the racing atmosphere?

Yes. The off-season is almost 4 months long, the training rides are often tedious and after some time it gets a little bit boring. Racing is much more exciting and I think I’m prepared well enough to take on another season. There is nothing I should be afraid of.

What are your main goals for 2016?

This year we are not going to Giro d’Italia, so I will focus on big one-day races. We have already Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo confirmed and the team has also applied for invitations to some other prestigious spring one-day races. If we get the opportunity to participate, I will do everything I can, to take that opportunity and put on good performance.

In last Amstel Gold Race I finished 9th and that result has given me a big moral boost. It gave me more joy than many of my victories. Few years ago I couldn’t imagine myself starting the final climb with the strongest riders, attacking in the finale and taking the top 10 spot. Now I know I’m capable of doing that.

Do you want to change something in your preparation comparing to 2015 ?

Last season I lacked those 7-10 days in the middle of the season, to take a break from my bike, rest and recover for the second part. There were so many important races, which were hard skip. I know from the time I spent in Liquigas, that one-week break has good impact on my form. Hanging bike on a rack helped me build second peak in the season, and usually it was even higher than the first one. I would like to return to those methods.

Do you have the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in mind?

To take part in the Olympic Games is something that every athlete dreams about, including me. To deserve that spot you have to prove yourself at the Polish Championships and Tour de Pologne. Those races will be the indicators of your form and will show the favorites for the olympic nomination.  We all know the names of two riders, who can be pretty certain to make the team, but the race for the remaining spots will be very tight. I didn’t do the recon of the course in Brazil, but I am aware of its toughness. It’s very hard but if I’m in my top shape, I think I can be a very valuable part of the squad and also do some damage in the breakaway.