A s I’m writing, it’s the day before I fly to the Worlds. It was the women’s TT yesterday and a group of riders – me included – got together in Girona to check out the form of the favourites. Call it collective homework, but it was a cool way to see who was going well and who we’ll need to watch out for in the road race.
I decided to head to the Worlds as late as possible for a couple of reasons. One was to dodge Bergen’s rain for as long as possible. The other was just to stay out of the race bubble. I can feel the vibes of expectation. And while I know that home media and the Polish federation only want the best for me, it all subtly adds a little bit more stress to the situation. At this point I just want to really focus on the race and see what comes from that.
Still, there is no feeling quite like pulling on the national jersey. It’s partly because we don’t get to do it very often during the season, so that’s a privilege and a thrill. But mainly it’s because you know there’s going to be a real fight to try and get the home flag run up the pole in the podium ceremony. It’s what we’re all there for.
And while we’re all up for the competition, there’s also something comforting and homely about joining a group that all speak the same language. If I think about it, I don’t speak that much Polish when I’m away training and racing. When we’re all together as a national team we can just speak more naturally and easily without having to think too hard about what we mean to say. Having said that, this Worlds squad is not a team that I know really well, apart from my WM3 team-mate, Anna Plichta, of course. Most of the rest I know only in a fairly loose way, so this Worlds will be a chance to put that right and get to know them better.
Finally, I’ve ticked off my last hard training session. Once the Worlds road race is out the way there’ll be no more intervals or long days in the saddle for a while. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long and intense season and while I’ve no concrete holiday plans yet, I will have some soon. The time to fully unwind is not that far away!
Kasia with her Polish team-mates at the 2016 Worlds. She relishes wearing the national colours