Long-Awaited Victory For Kasia

Few victories are as exciting and as meaningful as the one Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) scored today April 17th in the 27th edition of La Flèche Wallonne Femmes. The Polish rider defeated 2023 winner Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx-ProTime) and Italian national champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) in the final climb of the Mur de Huy to finally net her first win after a 1770-day drought. It has taken her 53rd top-5 placings, including a 2nd position on the 2021 edition of this same race, to finally raise her arms in victory. Kasia’s tears flowed after the finish line; the emotions rising to the surface after so long of refusing to give up. It was a clear example of she who perseveres, succeeds.

Speaking after her sweet victory, Kasia said, “This victory means a lot to me. I really hope that with this victory I have inspired a lot of people who are pursuing their dreams to keep going. I’ve failed a lot of times, with many near-misses, and never stopped believing. Reward is always there, waiting for us.

The race was super brutal. As we started, it started raining so hard and temperatures became very low. I knew it was my day, I just felt it, and the weather conditions got on my side because I always benefit from hard races like this. As a team, we always keep a positive atmosphere even when shaking from the cold. My teammates were amazing, taking care of me and bringing me to the front every time I needed it.

I was happy to see Demi [Vollering] taking the responsibility to pace the climb. I knew that last year she cracked me, but I was well prepared to counter and cope better with her rhythm as I simulated this kind of racing in training, with the help of my coach. That helped me being confident into the final. Then of course you never know what can happen on the race – but I woke up believing that this was the day.

To be honest, I had planned not to celebrate even if I was clear with 100 metres to go after what happened to Lorena Wiebes at Amstel Gold Race. I didn’t want to waste any energy looking around. I just wanted to give my best.

Liège-Bastogne-Liège? As of now, I just want to enjoy what just happened. After five years without winning a road race, this victory is everything there is my mind now!”

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