Gradek was the runner-up at the Polish National Time Trial Championships, claiming his second silver medal in his professional career at the event after an impressive performance on the 33-kilometer course.
All three Polish CCC Team riders were some of the last to start with Gradek setting the bar high right away, setting the fastest time at the first intermediate checkpoint before maintaining this momentum to stop the clock in 40 minutes 16 seconds, a time that saw him win the silver medal behind the defending champion, Maciej Bodnar (BORA – hansgrohe).
Strong performances from Wiśniowski and Sajnok saw them finish in fifth and sixth place respectively, one minute 19 seconds and one minute 41 seconds behind the winner.
21-year old Sajnok’s solid effort meant that he was also the fastest in the U23 ranks, taking home the gold medal in that category.
Meanwhile, over in Italy, De Marchi stepped onto the podium for the first time at his National Time Trial Championships after a strong ride on a tough 34-kilometer course saw him secure the bronze medal, 26 seconds behind eventual winner, Filippo Ganna (Team INEOS).
De Marchi was the penultimate rider to roll off the start ramp in Bedonia, and he was quickly able to find a good rhythm before, after chasing the benchmark set by Ganna in the final kilometers, powering across the line in a time of 41 minutes 40 seconds.
Amaro Antunes was also in action at the Portuguese National Time Trial Championships, and after spending some time in the hot seat, he eventually finished fifth in Melgaço, one minute 16 seconds behind José Gonçalves (Team Katusha – Alpecin).
Quotes From The Finish Line:
“The plan was to cover the entire course at a strong and steady pace but, I started very fast on the first lap and on the second, I had to overcome a little crisis. Thankfully, I was able to regain the rhythm and make up some time on Marcin Białobłocki and Michał Kwiatkowski, who were both just a couple of seconds behind me at the second intermediate checkpoint. I finished the time trial around 10 to 15 seconds faster than them so, that shows that I managed to leave everything out there on the final lap.”
“Maciej Bodnar (BORA – hansgrohe) was out of reach today but, I can be happy with my second place. It’s my second silver medal at the TT Nationals but, this one tastes a little bit sweeter. In 2015, when I lost to Białobłocki other time trial specialists, such a Bodnar and Kwiatkowski were not participating and today all the strongest guys showed up.”
“Coming into this race, I was not really thinking about the U23 jersey as I was focused on getting a good result in the elite category. The course was quite undulating with a crosswind playing a factor. I kept a steady pace and I didn’t accelerate too much at any point as I was trying to save some energy for the last lap. I’m happy that I was able to pace myself perfectly and that there was still something left in the legs for the final. I have learned some lessons from the time trial at the Tour de Suisse when I started too fast and barely finished the stage.”
Alessandro De Marchi:
“The heat definitely made today more interesting and difficult. It was 40 degrees and in temperatures like that you can do all the planning you want but in the end, that is always one of the most important factors. My coach Andrea (Fusaz) and I came up with a good idea of what we wanted to do but we also spoke about trying to listen to my legs throughout the race. The idea was to save a bit of energy for the last eight to 10 kilometers but in the end, I lost a few seconds in the final two to three kilometers as I was really on the limit.”
“It was a really good parcours, up and down almost all the way with some corners that could have made the difference. Thankfully, I did some recon laps yesterday so I got to really see the course. Overall, it’s good to get today out of the way ahead of Sunday, especially in this heat. I came here after some time at altitude in the Dolomites so, it was also good to use today to get used to the heat because, on Sunday, the heat will be the most difficult thing to manage.”
“It was an intense and very fast time trial, and I am happy with my performance today. I am also happy that my sensations on the bike were good as I am now starting the second half of my season.”
Polish National Time Trial Championships
Stębark > Stębark (33km)
Top 3: Maciej Bodnar (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Kamil Gradek (CCC Team) 3. Marcin Białobłocki (NOPINZ SYMEC)
CCC Team Top 3: 2. Kamil Gradek 5. Łukasz Wiśniowski 6. Szymon Sajnok
Italian National Time Trial Championships
Bedonia > Bedonia (34km)
Top 3: 1. Filippo Ganna (Team INEOS) 2. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) 3. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team)
Portuguese National Time Trial Championships
Melgaço > Melgaço (32.3km)
Top 3: José Gonçalves (Team Katusha – Alpecin) 2. Domingos Gonçalves (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) 3. Antonio Carvalho (W52 / FC Porto) 5. Amaro Antunes (CCC Team)
Photo: Młoda Photography (Kamil Gradek and Szymon Sajnok) / Sirotti (Alessandro De Marchi)