Olomunec, Czech Republic, July 21 - Katarzyna Niewiadoma finished 5th in women U-23 road race during European Road Championships in Olomunec. Polish U-23 champion managed to stay in the small group of riders who survived the early selection and score her first very good result at international level.
Susanna Zorzi of Italy claimed victory, finishing her team's job by launching an attack on the final climb and winning gold medal after solo action. Her team mate - Franceca Cauz took silver, coming to the line a handful of second later.
Niewiadoma, who currently rides for TKK Pacific Toruń (the same club where Michał Kwiatkowski started his carrer), managed to stay in the head of the bunch and take 5th place in the sprint from the first group that reached the line over a minute after Italian duo.
The 126-km route consited of 11 laps, with a 1km climb in the final. 94 U-23 women signed the startlist, 7 Polish National Team members included.
The begining of the race was calm, the very first attacks started on the climbs. I didn't have any problems, everything was under control. I even managed to break away with one of the Italian riders but it only lasted a while - Niewiadoma described the early laps.
After sereval laps, a lot of riders were dropped and there were only about 20 of us at the front. Last rounds were nervous - attacks all the time, launched especially by Italian team. The last climb was crucial - the group got shattered very quickly. I tried to stay with the leading competitors but I didn't have the legs to make it to the podium - Polish double U-23 champion said.
Niewiadoma's 5th place turned out to be Polish highet score during the Championhips. What is worth mentioning - this is her first year as U-23 and so she was obviously the youngest in top5. I'm really happy about my performance because I know I did everything I possibly could - Niewiadoma summed up. Taking 5th place in my first year as U-23 satisfies me. I'm very grateful to Paulina Brzeźna-Bentkowska and her husband Paweł for helping me and preparing me for this race.
Niewiadoma was on my lit of "names to remeber" after this year's Polish Nationals. She would probably ride the Worlds in September, so watch out for her.