Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) was in happy tears after the finish of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition on Sunday. She had attacked on the Cauberg to go solo with two kilometres to go and just held off Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) at the finish line to take her second victory in a Women’s WorldTour one-day race.
Even after the podium ceremony, the Pole was still in a state close to disbelief.
“I am still buzzing, feeling overwhelmed with emotions,” she said. “Once I am back in the hotel and have dinner with my team, I will realise what happened today. It was a beautiful Easter Sunday, I am happy. That is why we all do it and push our limits – to finally cross the finish line with our hands up in the air.”
The 24-year-old had the victory in sight on the finishing straight, but Van Vleuten was coming up strong from behind. The time trial world champion edged closer and closer to Niewiadoma on the final kilometre, but the Pole never turned around to gauge the distance and kept her focus on the goal.
“I was not thinking about her, only about the finish line,” Niewiadoma said. “I was like, ‘I have to get there first’. I was not thinking about what was happening behind my back. I heard my sports director screaming, ‘Look to the front’, so I kept on pushing. It really felt like the longest two kilometres of my life.”
Niewiadoma had achieved good results this spring season with a third place in Strade Bianche and top 10s in the Trofeo Binda and Tour of Flanders. She explained how her victory was down to having confidence in herself, and this included racing aggressively. In earlier years, Niewiadoma was often attacking as soon as the road ramped up; recently, she was somewhat more reactive. But this tactic did not work for her.
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