Marek Bala /

With the beginning of the 2017 season, a 24-year-old Polish rider Łukasz Wiśniowski joined his fellow countrymen Michał Kwiatkowski and Michał Gołaś in the Sky roster. During the Team Sky media day held at the time of their training camp in Mallorca, he revealed us his reasons for choosing the British squad and explained what kind of role he would like to take up in the team.

What do you think about your final season at Quick-Step?

It was a good season for me, but it could have been better. At Quick Step every single one-day race is important so it’s hard to be granted a leadership role there. In this team, it takes a lot of time to climb up the hierarchy, even longer than at Sky. I`ve learned a lot from Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Zdenek Stybar who are one of the best one-day racers in the world. I hope it will pay off in the next years.

When did you take a decision to join Team Sky?

My first touch with the team was when my contract with Etixx developement team expired. At that time I decided to sign with the Belgian squad, beacuse Michał Kwiatkowski and Michał Gołaś were riding for them. We are friends and we always train together. Now, after a one-year break, I`m really happy to be joining Team Sky.

What are your first impressions about riding for Sky?

I’m feeling good. It`s great to reunite with Michał Kwiatkowski, Michał Gołaś and our soigneur, Marek Sawicki. I missed them last year and that`s one of the reason why I wanted to join Team Sky.

Could you compare Team Sky and Quick-Step?

There are no big differences between these two teams, both of them have large budgets at disposal. Team Sky focuses on grand tours and Quick-Step aims for classics – every single one-day race is like World Championships for them. Maybe Sky has more staff members, but in Etixx we couldn’t complain about anything . There are more riders at Team Sky who focus on grand tours, what makes a diet a little bit different than at Etixx. And finally, at Sky we spend more time on a bike.

Team Sky boss, Sir Dave Brailsford, told us he hoped you would become a strong addition to the team`s Classics squad. He added that your characteristics as a rider are similar to Ian Stanndard`s and Luke Rowe`s.

Yes, it`s true that the one-day races are my favourite ones. I`m not a grand tour rider, I`m an all-rounder, but I like the Belgian Classics most. Even though Sky hasn’t been targeting these races so far, they have a great equipment and in that sense they are at the same level as Quick Step, for example. My goal is to be a team leader for Classics, so it was one of the reasons why I chose the British team.

What`s your race calendar for 2017?

I will kick off my season at Challenge Mallorca. My next race will be Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, which includes team time trial. Team Sky would like to become World Champions in this disicipline this year, so it`s a part of a long-term prepraration for this event. My next races are: Volta ao Algarve, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Bruksela-Kuurne, Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke, Ronde van Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix. After a short break I`m going ride the Tour de Romandie with Chris Froome, so I have to be in a good shape there. In the following month I’m going to participate in the Tour of California, the Tour of Poland and parhaps in the Vuelta, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet. Generally, I will participate in all of the most prestigious Belgian races and it will be the most important part of the year for me.

In last year’s Dubai Tour you turned out to be a great lead-out man. How do you feel about taking up such role?

When I was riding in lower categories, I didn’t have a feeling that I could excel in the lead-out, but then I signed with Quick Step and found myself in that role pretty quickly. I have been assigned to work for Mark Cavendish right away and I was the third last rider in his lead-out train, before Mark Renshaw and Cavendish himself. Team Sky has Elia Viviani and Danny van Poppel, so I hope I will use my lead-out skills and our cooperation will be successful.

Thanks for the interview and have a good season!

The interview was held in Mallorca on 10th January 2017.

Marta Wiśniewska/Marek Bala

Translation – Marta Wiśniewska/Aleksandra Górska