Defending champion of the World Championships, Michal Kwiatkowski is preparing for a super performance at this year’s UCI Road World Championship because he wants to keep the rainbow jersey for another season. The rider clearly said that he wants to win the elite men’s road race once again.
In an interview right before the Friday Grand Prix race, his exact words about the Worlds were “I would love to spend another year in the rainbow jersey”. He said that it is his dream to win the Worlds for the second consecutive time.
Last year Kwiatkowski won the Championship in Ponferrada in Spain. His lead-out team included Maciej Paterski, Maciej Bodnar, Pawel Poljanski, Michal Podlaski, Michal Golas, Bartosz Huzarski, and few others. He had secured his victory with a sudden attack at the last 7 kilometers and maintaining the pace to keep himself ahead of the lead group he overtook. Australian rider Simon Gerrans was the first runner up and had the silver while Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde was the second runner up with the bronze.
The rider will have 5 teammates helping him out this year as Poland could manage only six spots on the Worlds. The lead-out group will include key riders Rafal Majka, Maciej Bodnar and also Golas, Paterski and Tomasz Marczynsk.
Though the city route in the Richmond World Championship will be very different from the one in Ponferrada, Kwiatkowski is a good choice for the team. The rider has not yet seen the course but only visited the YouTube profiles and heard about the details of the 17 laps covering the 205km route going through Libby Hill Park, the steep Governor’s Street and the end point.
Kwiatkowski is aware of the difficulties facing him. He is aware of the peloton that will comprise riders who take the Worlds very seriously, with each team having planned its strategy. He is also taking the weather into consideration as it will play a big factor in the ride style of each team. The rider said that his strategy will depend on the ride of the peloton which he has to figure out early on in the stage. His personal aim will be to simply put in his best efforts.
The rider already has the Amstel Gold Race victory in his kitty. He also won the opening race at the Paris-Nice and got the second overall placement. It can be safely assumed that the 25 year old rider is in good form this season. However, lately he had not been in his best form when he quit the Tour de France in July after the 17th stage, despite a good start. The rider is hopefully back in form after about 2 months of rest and controlled practice with a series of single day events.
When asked about the chances of a second consecutive victory at the tough race, the rider said that it all depended on “luck and attrition” and hopes to be fit for the Worlds and defend his championship.