Bartosz Huzarski: – I`m not cycling star, I don`t have a big talent and I always feel better in domestique role than as a team leader – Bartosz Huzarski told Naszosie.pl. Polish experienced rider talking about his perspectives for the future and explaining why cycling etiquette has disappeared.
Are you going to be a sports director in the next year?
The decision will take 14th October. I would like to stay in my team from many reasons. Firstly, I want to use my long-year experience as a pro rider in my work with young riders. Secondly, I want to have the latest information about new technologies and nutrition. And finally, I wouldn`t like to waste my long years in pro peleton. I`m talking with Ralph Denk from Bora-Hansgrohe and trying to negotiate the best possible solution for me.
Is your manager still looking for a team for you?
Yes, but it`s not easy. In May Ralph Denk promised me I`ll stay in Bora. But the situation has changed when Specialized started to cooperate with the team. It turned out that there`s no place for me.
You said earlier that you are not interested in Polish teams. Did you change your mind?
No, I didn`t. I don`t aim for Grody Piastowskie, because I have won this race. My main target should be Giro or Tour. Don`t get me wrong, but at this stage of my career I don`t want to race in the team which is inappropriate for me. Now, most of the teams finalised their roosters for 2017 but every cloud has a silver lining.
What does it mean for you?
I have been thinking about retirement for a long time. Nowadays cycling is very dangerous sport, there are a lot of crashes and many riders think only about themselves and their teams, even if they would sacrifice their health and life. In addition, terror threat is becoming bigger and bigger. It`s not possible to prevent every single dangerous situation.
Has cycling etiquette disappeared?
Yes, it has. We could see that when Fabian Cancellara crashed in Tour de France 2015. Then I stopped the race and some riders asked me why I had done it. A few years ago nobody was talking about the fair play rules, they were clear for everybody. It`s difficult for me, because I remember the times when cycling was different, better I think, and it`s not only my opinion.
Is this consequence of putting a pressure on the riders?
Yes, sports directors and sponsors put a pressure on the riders and there are younger riders who don`t remember past times. Especially riders from USA, Canada and Australia. They have respect to nobody. That`s why I wanted to retire but until I was well-paid and my team needed me, I had no reason to end my career.
What was your position in Bora-Argon 18?
My position in Bora-Argon 18 was very good. I could start in my favourite races and I didn`t have to live in Spain or Majorca. From December to February I used to train with my team and in the spring I came back home. They had a huge respect for me.
What is your the biggest success of your career?
I`m not cycling star, I don`t have a big talent and I always feel better in domestique role than as a team leader. I`ve never wanted to be a team leader and my sports directors knew about that. I know I can ride to the flamme rouge with the leaders but I cannot generate as many watts as I need to win. So I`m satisfied with my achievements. I won a few races in Italy and in Poland. I started in three Grand Tours, I have a lot of nice memories and a lot of friends. But it`s time to say ‘stop’ and concentrate on the other goals such as Huzar Bike Academy.
Do you think that Huzar Bike Academy is enough safeguard of your future?
I have no money from bike academy for children, but bike academy for adults is a business project. I have put money too, so I feel safe. We train together, do training camps, everybody has a lot fun and it`s the most important. I think Huzar Bike Academy has a bright future.
It seems you know very good how to use social media to build relationships with your fans.
I`ve had my own website since 2003, when I get my first professional contract, I have my own domain and I run my Facebook page by myself. I simply enjoy that. I think everyone can spend a few minutes at the computer and write something to the fans.
During the Tour de France together with your team mate Cesare Benedetti you did a live chat with your fans via Facebook.
It was a big fun for us. We did it for our fans and we have received positive feedback. Cycling is more and more popular, people want to see the backstage. Why don`t I show them that? After my crash in Spain I received hundreds of messages with the best wishes, everything I do always comes back to me.
Thanks for the interview.
Translated by Marta Wiśniewska