The kickoff of this years Beskidy Trophy presented itself from a little more softly than its trademark. Already the first couple of kilometers ran on tarmac and that pattern has been more or less characteristic for the laongest part of the 66km long stage. This is most probably more than welcome for the huge presence of German, Belgian, Austrian, etc., riders that are more or less used to this type of track design. And it comes in handy also for those sparing their power for later on.
But as Grzegorz Golonko, the race owner told me thereafter: “Let’s just have a warm up, and don’t rush into the ‘worst’ right at the kickoff”
That promises some elusive stages coming up.
The list of top contenders is unprecedentedly long and the first surge at the beginning of the day saw a very high. That long lasting tarmac uphill selected those who aim at good placing in the general classification. To gain a good position was vital as this initial uphill flowed into a technically challenging rough section.
The weather was benevolent too, as was the track itself. Every so often some slippery passages, but not challenging and in general they were rideable.
It has been vital to be in a good group given the nature of the stage. At times it was reminiscent of the alpine regions in general and that of the famous Salzkammergut Trophy in particular. By way of all those gorgeous vistas we were spoiled with great landscape. One is teased all along with this and those not having any ambitions for places take their time for photo sessions.
That was not true for the top three today, Adrian Bzrozka [POL] 1st, followed by Bas Peters [NED] and Bram Rood [NED] for 3rd. The time difference makes for a great suspense for the upcoming days. And the gaps in the following rankings are that minimal, that this race is way too open.
Me, I have got a great rhythm from the get go, albeit I always struggle to find a consistent rhythm in Polish races due to their erratic nature. That said, I felt awesome and recovered well from the last stage race. The stage evoked a perfect sensation and I scored 18th in my category.
I have got to admit, though that this good feeling is due to the almost perfect ambience. It has been the general consensus among racers as well. The promoter of the race [GG Marketing spearheaded by Grzegorz Golonko] created a very professional show. No wonder though, this attracts a massive crowd of racers from abroad. I can’t stop wondering why this race is not being awarded by UCI with at least C2 category. As it is definitely not because of the lack of the ‘who-is-who’ of the marathon scene.
I’ll will try to figure out by way of an interview tomorrow with Mr. Golonko.
Great rest and recovery is the headline for tonight as the 2nd Stage calls for a trademark Beskidy Trophy. A good start is as important as a prudent pacing.