Kasia Niewiadoma finished just off the podium in today’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège in Belgium. The last race of the Ardennes Classics saw an elite five rider group go clear on the final climb. Demi Vollering (SDW) won the sprint to the line with Kasia just behind in fourth place.
“The last climb was brutal! The first, steeper part suited me and I felt quite comfortable on it. I tried to attack towards the top but I don’t believe I caused any damaged in the peloton, and I just exploded myself. So that meant the second part of that climb was a battle!” says Kasia.
“Coming into the finish I truly believed I could get a podium spot. My teammates had put in so much work and I was determined to finish it off right. I gave my best in the sprint but as you can see I’m just not much of a sprinter. That annoys me so much because it makes you feel quite sad when you cross the line after an otherwise great race.”
After three consistent races showing some of her best form, Kasia says she leaves the Ardennes Classics with mixed emotions.
“I definitely feel happy and satisfied with how my body felt this last week. My coach did an amazing job; he knew what my goals were and I trusted him 100% in my preparation!”
Speaking of the results in each of the three races, Kasia added, “The result in Amstel could have been a lot better. I’m very happy with second at La Fléche Wallonne. Today, I feel a bit angry with my weak sprint in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. That’s the results, but what has been important is that I’ve had a lot of support from my teammates in the last three races. They’ve been very committed, shown a lot of mental strength and every race they’ve been ready to go in to battle. That gave me a lot of confidence. I’m very grateful for them!”
Read below for what some of Niewiadoma’s comment after the race.
“I was feeling good with my form and my legs this week. I’ve had a small knee injury and that stopped me to be able to give more. Today, I tried to block out the pain and concentrate on doing things right to follow our team plan.”
“Unfortunately I crashed just a couple of kilometres before a lot of the action started. I spent a lot of energy to come back and then to be present at the front in order to help Kasia for the final. After La Redoute, I found myself together with Elise in Kasia’s group. We directly started to chase a three-rider group that was away. Overall, I’m happy with how we raced as a team in all three Ardennes races.”
“It was a hard race from the beginning. We raced nice as a group, we followed attacks and then I was in a good breakaway. Everyone was super motivated and fought hard. At the end Kasia was fourth and just missed the podium.”
“I’m happy with my racing this week. I like to race aggressively and to try to go in breakaways because I know that I can’t be there at the very end with the best climbers. I really enjoy to race like that and I think it’s a style of racing that is always useful for our team.”
“It’s been a nice to feel like I’m coming back into some form these last races. After a rough start to the season, I can say that I’m back on track. The team has been really motivated and that also helps. Today, I punctured at a really untimely moment. I spent a lot of energy to come back to the bunch but I was pretty smashed from that effort. It would have been nice to have seen what I could do with that same effort at the front of the race instead of chasing it.”
“Overall, I’m feeling more confident, I’ve found my legs again and I’m looking forward to Elsy Jacobs next week!”
“I think as a team we had a good race, and it was great to see we still had the whole team in the front until La Redoute. Then to have Elise and Alena there to support Kasia even further into the race.”
“For me personally. I have mixed feelings about my race. I didn’t have the best legs today. They just didn’t want to work like they have been. So I was a little disappointed given my current run of form and what I’ve been able to do for the team recently. I was still okay on the climbs, much better than I have been on this parcours in recent years, and I was still there for the team until La Redoute which was pleasing. I was aiming for more from myself and to be able to go a bit deeper and support the team further. “
“I kept good position, rode in the win when needed, and helped cover some moves. I was able to help keep the team calm and guide them when needed, but to be honest most of the time everyone was just racing well and knew what they needed to do. It was nice to race with such a united group today and to help Kasia to another strong result.”