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"I would like to thank the whole team again. We ride for various professional teams, but if we pull the white-red jersey, we hold the right to be a team together, for nothing is more important"

Photo: Sirotti

BARTOSZ HUZARSKI

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MACIEJ BODNAR

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MICHAL GOLAS

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MICHAL KWIATKOWSKI

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PAWEL POLJANSKI

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PRZEMYSLAW NIEMIEC

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RAFAL MAJKA

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25.10.2014 @ 12:49 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After Rafal Majka's two stage wins in this year's Tour de France and Michal Kwiatkowski’s sensational coup at the road world championship, Polish cycling seems to be finally back in the mainstream of the cycling world’s attention.

 

Not only the "heroes of Ponferrada," but also Majka, who did not compet at the Worlds aere celebrated on the Vistula as top stars. After years of media doldrums of poor performances, cycling I moving slowly back into the center of the coverage. 

 

Last Monday, President Boguslaw Komorowski invited added Majka and the National Team to Krakow, where the team was awarded honorary titles. World Champion Kwiatkowksi and coach Piotr Wadecki received the Golden Cross of Merit. 

 

Majka was given the slver cross and the rest of the World Championship squad (Przemyslaw Niemiec, Bartosz Huzarski, Bartlomiej Matysiak, Pawel Poljanski, Maciej Bodnar, Maciej Paterski, Michal Golas, Michal Podlaski) had to settle for the Distinguished Service Cross in Bronze. 

 

"I would like to thank the whole team again. We ride for various professional teams, but if we pull the white-red jersey, we hold the right to be a team together, for nothing is more important" said Kwiatkowski, who will now wear the rainbow jersey for a year. 

 

At the official ceremony in the former Polish capital also Waclaw Skarul, President of the National Cycling Federation, Czeslaw Lang, organizer of the Tour of Poland, and Zenon Jaskula, Poland’s only other Tour de France stage winner, were all in attendance.

 

Skarul already pointed to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where Kwiatkowski and co. will go for a medal or two. Besides, he also gave the go-ahead for the new cycling-demand system. In more than 60 specially established cycling classes in four Polish voivodeships (districts) starting this year 915 children and young people were trained. 

 

The National Cycling Development Project - the official name of the wider initiative – aims to look for Kwiatkowski and Majka’s successors to secure the future of the Polish cycling. 

 

In the last decade the talent scouting was poor due to financial problems and lack of a centralized training network. It is fortunate that Kwiatkowski, Majka and co broke through despite these difficulties.

 

The support program is funded by the Polish Ministry of Sport, which provides nearly half a million zloty (about 100,000 Euros). Next year, another 160 cycling schools will be opened. "All the time we talk to the ministry and believe that the chances are quite large, in 2015, to increase the network so that other provinces can participate in the system. The more children participate in the training, the faster we can find our next star” said Skarul.

 

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