Thursday, June 13, 2024

Marcin Bialoblocki – “I can win the Worlds”


HomeInterviewsMarcin Bialoblocki - "I can win the Worlds"
Marcin Bialoblocki
Marcin Bialoblocki.

When Alex Dowsett (Movistar & GB) rode 17:20 to take the British ‘10’ record earlier this year we all thought, ‘wow!’ and that it would take some beating.

Enter one Marcin Bialoblocki, Polish professional with the One Pro Cycling team – with a 16:35, hacking 45 seconds off the Dowsett mark.

That’s head shakingly quick – but not content with that, the next day Bialoblocki put Dowsett’s ‘25’ record of 44:29 to the sword with 44:04.

We just had to ‘have a word.’

But before we do we thought we’d peruse the big, 33 year-old Pole’s palmarès to demonstrate that he’s no ‘pure tester.’

His first UK results show in 2008 with 6th in the GP of Wales; by 2009 he was winning the Girvan Easter Three Day (R.I.P.) .

The 2010 season saw him third in the East Yorkshire Classic with a pro contract with Motorpoint coming his way for 2011 when he won the Jock Wadley Memorial Race and a stage in Ireland’s legendary Rás.

‘Node 4’ it said on the jersey for season 2012, second in the Lincoln another Rás stage and sixth on GC the hi-lites.

Marcin Bialoblocki
L to R: Andy Tennant, Marcin, Peter Williams, on the 2009 Girvan podium. Photo©Ed Hood

It was ‘UK Youth’ for 2013 with a win in the ‘Perfs’ and the overall win in the Rás.

‘Velosure’ was the team for 2014 with third in the Lincoln and another Rás stage.

Last year he joined One Pro and there was the Polish National TT Championship, the TT stage in the Tour of Poland, ninth in the Worlds TT and second in the Chrono des Herbiers – not a bad old year.

This year he’s raced an arduous Pro Continental programme – Dubai, Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne, Nokere, Handzame, De Panne and the Tours of Luxembourg, Poland and Denmark have all rolled beneath his tubular.

Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas not long after his scintillating weekend of speed.

Marcin Bialoblocki
Marcin at record breaking speed – twice! Photo©Craig Zadoroznyj

Congratulations, Marcin – why two time trials on that weekend for a pro roadman and not road races?

“I spoke to my coach and director and we decide that because I had been sick I would not ride the Tour of Britain, instead I would prepare for the European and World Time Trial Championships.

“I didn’t expect to beat the records; it was just part of my time trial training and preparation.

“But friends had been saying to me that because I was going so fast in local time trials that I should ride one of the fast courses up north so I decided to ride that one on the V718 course in East Yorkshire on the Saturday afternoon.”

Did you have your pro mechanic with you?

“No, in a situation like that I prepare my own bike.

“I rode 56 x 11 all the way on 23 mm. Vittoria tubulars.”

Marcin Bialoblocki
A very versatile rider. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

How did you gauge the ride?

“I used my power meter – I know what I can stick to.

“Initially there was a headwind to the turn so I knew I would have to go a little bit harder on the way out but the wind changed and it became a cross/tail on the way out so I’d gone a bit harder than I should but when I turned I knew I only had to put up with the suffering for a few minutes.”

Your position is just so aerodynamic, have you been in the wind tunnel?

“I set my position myself and I’m proud of that – I finalised it in June and I knew it was fast because I was riding local ‘10’s about 30 seconds faster than I had been previously.

“I was actually in the wind tunnel two days before I set the records but we didn’t change anything – although it was very interesting to see the differences things like wheels and bottle cages make.

“The most important thing I learned was that you have to stay in your best position as much as a possible, keep still, don’t move about.”

It seems like a crazy question but is a 15 minute 10 mile time trial possible?

“I don’t think so – well, it’s possible but I don’t think on a standard time trial bike, maybe on a customised machine like an hour record bike but on a perfect day and when you were on one of your best days on the bike.”

After the Saturday afternoon ‘10’ Marcin travelled to South Wales for the Port Talbot Wheelers ‘25’ on the R25/3h course where he rode to a 44:04 to take 25 seconds from Alex Dowsett’s record….

Marcin Bialoblocki
Normally riding in top level road races, Marcin used the 10 and 25 merely as training. Photo©OneProCycling

But a 43 minute ‘25’ is possible?

“It’s definitely possible – even a short one.

“I posted that 44:04 in what I would call ‘average’ weather – on a better day I think I could have gone one minute faster.”

Do you motorpace to get that sort of speed in your legs?

“Not really, I used to motorpace a few years ago when I didn’t race as much but now that I have the programme that I do with the team I get a lot of racing – and at World Tour level that gives you all the speed you need.

“I only use the turbo if the weather is really horrible in the winter but I do intervals; they’re set by my coach and very brutal – but they’ve paid off.”

Going back to the beginning, Marcin – you’re Polish but living in the UK now, why?

“Originally I came here to work, I thought my cycling adventures were over but after three months my circumstances changed, I started to race again, turned professional and here I am.”

Marcin Bialoblocki
Marcin in solo breakaway to win the Bath round of the Tour Series. Photo©John Pierce / PhotoSport International UK USA Asia

I remember seeing you beat ‘Kermis King’ Mario Willems to win a kermis in Flanders – you’re pretty versatile, aren’t you?

“I think I’m a strong rider, I don’t like big bunch sprints but I can do damage from small groups and I can climb too – I won the overall in the RAS and that’s not flat or easy.”

You finished last season with some very strong TT results – 10th in the Worlds and second in the Chrono Herbiers.

“I was a bit disappointed with my Worlds ride, I wasn’t on a good day, maybe it was the travel and time changes – I wasn’t happy but I was satisfied to be top ten.

“Second behind the world champion, Kiryienka in the Chrono des Nations at Herbier is a result I’m happy with.”

What about this year’s Worlds out in the sand and heat?

“To be honest I feel that the course suits me more than the usual Worlds parcours because it’s flat and fast.

“In my head, I think that if I have a normal day then I can go top three – I think that Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara if he rides are the favourites.

“But I believe if I have a very good day then it’s possible for me to win.”

Marcin Bialoblocki
After a superb season so far, including wearing the Sprinter’s jersey in Dubai, Marcin feels the Worlds are a real target. Photo©OneProCycling

What’s the plan for season 2017?

“I don’t know yet, I haven’t signed anything – I’ll know what’s happening with the next week or so.”

What’s still on the M. Bialoblocki ‘To Do’ list?

“I’d like to ride for a World Tour team; I’d like to ride the Tour de France or one of the Grand Tours – and I’d like to win more time trials!”

Marcin Bialoblocki
Marcin sees his future in the World Tour. Photo©OneProCycling

You read it here first – ‘all the best’ to Marcin for the Worlds – we’ll be following his progress closely.

Evolution of the British ’10’ Competition Record

  • 1980: Sean Yates. 19:44
  • 1981: Martin Pyne: 19:41
  • 1981: Dave Lloyd: 19:11
  • 1988: Colin Sturgess: 18:48
  • 1992: Matt Illingworth: 18:34
  • 1993: Graeme Obree: 18:27
  • 2001: Stuart Dangerfield: 18:19
  • 2006: Bradley Wiggins: 17:58
  • 2010: Michael Hutchinson: 17:57
  • 2012: Michael Hutchinson: 17: 45
  • 2016: Alex Dowsett: 17:20
  • 2016: Marcin Bialoblocki: 16:35