That’s Incredible, You Know

1 October 2014

Michal Kwiatkowski.
The ‘flower power’ boy of the peloton.
Only two months ago he turned 24.
And last Sunday he won the elite men’s road title.
He said that his attack was a risky one.
It was raining, he went in the descent and no one followed him.
The group with Gerrans and Valverde chased him, but without any luck.
Kwiatkowski passed the finish line only a few seconds before Gerrans.
He will wear the rainbow jersey for the next season.
He dedicated the victory to his girlfriend, his family and to Poland.
Of course to Poland. He is the first rider from Poland to win this race.
Overall, Italy, France and Belgium have won most of the elite men’s road races.
But in the last few years other countries take over the lead.
In 2009, Cadel Evans was the first Australian rider,
in 2010 it was Thor Hushovd who made Norway proud and last year
Rui Costa from Portugal won the race as the first Portuguese rider.
All these victories remind me of another story about Tom Simpson.
In 1965, he was the first rider from Great Britain to win the world championships. He said that he couldn’t have done it
without his team, making this clear after the race.
“For one thing, we had decided that we had had enough of losing
championships and that this time we were all
working together – instead of each going out, one by one.”
They dominated the race, just like Poland dominated the race last Sunday.
Kwiatkowski also stated that he couldn’t have won the race without his teammates and that the plan was to work together as a team:
“I said right from the start that we have to lead the peloton,
because that was our best chance.”
He was right, it was their best chance.
He gambled and won, just like Tom Simpson did in 1965:
“You only get opportunities like that once in a lifetime, and I jumped at it.
I have said this to all of you in cycling – have faith in yourself
and in your ability to win, and you will get there.”
Michal Kwiatkowski had faith in himself and he got there.

The new World Champion / © Casey B. Gibson


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