Kasia Pawlowska time trialled to Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team's first national title of the week in Krokowa, Poland on Wednesday. The 27-year-old stopped the clock 19 seconds quicker than Alicja Ratajczak in second. Agnieszka Skalniak (Astana) rounded out the podium at 23 seconds. The win is Pawlowska’s first of the season and her second time trial title.
“I don’t have words to describe my feelings,” said Pawlowska. “I’m over the moon. After all the adventure with my leg injury at the beginning of the season, I’m just super happy to be back at a good level.
“We have an eagle on our national jersey,” Pawlowska added. “This eagle gives me wings. I hope the second half of my season is better than the first. I have a feeling that I’m going in the right direction.”
The 19.8 kilometer course in Krokowa was rolling and strong winds made the challenging course even tougher.
"I had the feeling that it was a headwind all the way,” noted Pawlowska.
The course featured two distinct climbs: a long climb from the start with a gentle gradient in an exposed road and a steep one-and-a-half kilometre kicker with a 10 percent gradient in the final 400 metres.
“After that last climb, it should have been down to the finish, but it was a headwind, so it was tough to keep up the good speed,” Pawlowska explained.
She used power numbers to moderate her effort. She knew there was a danger of expanding too much energy on the opening climb.
“I used my watts to control my effort there,” Pawlowska said. “On the way back, I gave it everything that I had left in my legs."
She covered the course in a time of 29:16 (40.7 kilometre/hour).
“It was tough, painful,” she added. “But when it’s painful, you know it’s good. If you don’t feel pain, you’re not going fast enough.”
Wednesday’s win gives Pawlowska confidence looking toward the road race. She won the road title in 2012 and hopes to repeat the feat on Saturday.
“I like the road course,” said Pawlowska. “It’s up and down all the time, kind of like Belgium racing. I think I have a good chance for a good result. I’ll do my best, and I hope I reach another title.”