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Kasia Niewiadoma: My Season so Far

By Kasia Niewiadoma

As the racing season unfolds, I find it’s crucial to pause and reflect on the journey thus far. Today, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on my performance so far this season, highlighting moments of growth, the challenges I have overcome, and how I continue setting sights on the road ahead.

Personal development and results

There are two ways I look at my season so far: personal development in terms of strength, better power numbers on a bike, confidence and self-belief— and the actual result. I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made in terms of strength, improved power numbers, and bolstered confidence. Despite not securing a victory in 2024, I take pride in the dedicated preparations that have consistently positioned me at a high level within races.

While, of course, there’s at least a tinge of disappointment in the absence of a win, I know the value of representing well and consistently being in contention. Analysing every aspect, from luck to timing of attacks, I really just try to return to each race with enhanced wisdom about myself and my competitors.

Defying expectations at the Tour of Flanders

A standout moment for me was the recent Tour of Flanders. With adverse weather conditions—pouring rain and low temperatures—the race challenged me in ways I hadn’t anticipated and was even more brutal than all the editions so far, or at least it felt like it! The race doesn’t suit my strengths, as I am not a big, powerful rider but a smaller climber. Yet, somehow, I was able to find the power inside me never to stop fighting for the victory. Although I ended up second, I knew after crossing the finish line I gave my absolute best. As such, there was no room for disappointment, and only personal satisfaction arrived.


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Overcoming setbacks in Siena

Another memorable moment was the finish in Siena after Strade Bianche. After targeting this race for so many years and coming so close in the final, it was a big loss. I made tactical mistakes, and in the end, I was overwhelmed with upsetting feelings that I could not contain. Thankfully, I had my physio and team members waiting for me at the finish line with warm hugs and long conversations that allowed me to leave everything behind. It allowed me to lift the heavy weight off my shoulders and return home with the same passion and desire to win this race next year.

Navigating rapid changes

As I reflect on my progress and development, I have to say that I am happy with the progress I am still making each year after competing professionally for over a decade. Yet, the whole bunch is improving rapidly, and keeping up with the pace is not always easy! Women’s cycling is developing very fast, and there are new resources for preparing athletes to be in their best shape. Having to look for small details at all times can be challenging. I am happy that, together with my coach, we are still finding a way to move forward and keep growing.

Cultivating mental resilience

I think mentally preparing for the inevitable challenges during races has been crucial. Learning to counter negative thoughts with automatic responses allows me to maintain focus. The beauty of being in shape is having an empty mind; you just flow, observe, read the race perfectly and remain patient. That’s the ultimate state I’m chasing.

Learning from every race and preparing for the rest of the season

Every race has taught me something new, either positive or negative. If I know I lost the race because of being outnumbered or because of a flat tyre or crash, I remain soft towards myself. If I come to a race feeling I am behind the best one, unable to make a difference and compete in the final, I then get hard on myself. In this case, I study everything I did before so I can attempt to eliminate mistakes going forward. I need to know that when I arrive at a race location, especially if it’s a race I care a lot about and dream of winning, I have done everything in my power to prepare.

So overall, I think I’m on a good path. I need to work on timing my attacks and continue pushing myself while at home, combined with altitude training camps. I look to the future with big hopes and ambition for the upcoming races— especially the Olympics and TdF:)