It’s two years since last VeloVeritas last spoke to Polish flyer, Marcin Bialoblocki.
He was with One Pro Cycling back then and in a weekend orgy of speed had broken the British 10 mile time trial record with 16:35 on the Saturday then took the ’25’ record on the Sunday with 44:04.
Last year he went even quicker with a 43 dead but as Cycling Weekly magazine reported at the time:
“Marcin Bialoblocki has been disqualified from Sunday’s RealTeam.co.uk 25-mile time trial after setting what would have been a new competition record for the distance.
Bialoblocki clocked a provisional time of exactly 43 minutes for the 25-mile effort (giving an average speed of 35mph/56kmh), 1-04 faster than the competition record, also set by Bialoblocki, in 2016.
However the Polish rider has now been disqualified from the event after it was decided that he was riding too far out from the left of the road, close to the centre line of the A465 dual carriageway in Wales where the event was held.”
So when the big Pole lined up at the start of the fast A465 dual carriageway for the Welsh 25-Mile Championships near Rhigos, on Sunday, he was a man with a point to prove.
It took him just 42 minutes and 58 seconds, as the 34 year-old, originally from Sokolka rewrote the record book, with a winning margin of four-and-a-half minutes.
Marcin took time to talk about his phenomenal ride with VeloVeritas but before we hear what he had to say, let’s remind ourselves of his long and varied palmarès.
His first UK results show in 2008 with 6th in the GP of Wales; by 2009 he was winning the Girvan (R.I.P.) Easter Three Day.
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 RAS.
‘Node 4’ it said on the jersey for season 2012, second in the Lincoln another RAS stage the hi-lites.
It was ‘UK Youth’ for 2013 with a win in the ‘Perfs’ and the overall win in the RAS.
‘Velosure’ was the team for 2014 with third in the Lincoln and another RAS stage.
For season 2015 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.
The following year he was second in the Polish TT champs to Tour de France stage winner, Maciej Bodnar, ninth in the European TT champs and 14th in the World TT Champs.
Last season he was with CCC Sprandi Polkowice, rode the Giro, was second to former World Road Race Champion, Michal Kwiatkowski in the Polish National TT Champs and was 12th in the European Time Trial Champs.
It’s fair to say then that he’s one of the world’s premier riders against the watch.
Marcin, an old guy like me remembers the first sub-50 minute ride, back in 1979, you’ve gone seven minutes faster – an amazing performance.
“Thank you, yes, I’m pleased with the ride.”
Did you train then taper for this particular race?
“No, not really, sure it was an important goal but not my main one, it’s just practice for bigger things.
“I’ve entered a few 25’s on fast courses and this was just one of them.”
‘Bigger things?’ The Worlds?
“Yes and the National and European Championships.
“Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) beat me in the Nationals last year but it was on a technical course which suited him more than it suited me.”
Do you pay close attention to the weather reports before your time trials?
“I check the wind direction, yes.
“Conditions were better around 11:00 am, the wind strengthened and changed to a less favourable direction by the time I started.
“I was off at 11:55 but I’ve had it better; last year when they disqualified me it was a better day for the tailwind to the turn.”
You’re on a Pinarello now?
“Yes, they are one of my sponsors this year; Phil Griffiths has always been a great supporter having sought Fausto’s endorsement.
“The bike is much nicer than the one I set the record on before; it’s at a different level – light, comfortable and beautiful.”
You were on a spoked front wheel rather than the composite tri –spoke you rode two years ago?
“I did a lot of research and track testing and in those conditions a deep section rim front wheel is faster, not all the time but on a morning like that, yes.”
What was your gearing?
“I rode a 64 chain ring. I have a 60 on order but it hasn’t arrived yet so I borrowed the 64 from my friend – he has a 75 too if I need it!”
Your position has changed since the last record ride ? Have you been in the wind tunnel?
“No, although it’s something I plan to do – the position has just developed from rides on the turbo and training on my TT bike.
“I’m very comfortable with it.”
Nopinz, the skinsuit manufacturer are another of your sponsors, was that a special ‘one off’ suit or could anyone buy one?
“It wasn’t a ‘special,’– anyone can order one just like it in their club colours they are one of the fastest skinsuits out there.”
What was your power for the ride?
“I think that it was maybe one of the best days of my life on the bike; I felt good the day before, the weather was good and I had big motivation – I averaged 427 watts, 435 watts ‘normalised.’”
Tell us about your training.
“I have a new coach, a Polish guy who has some clients, men and women, who are very successful at world level – we do sessions which are new to me but still a lot of short efforts, five, 10, 12 minute efforts on or just above threshold.”
You used to motor-pace?
“It’s difficult to get the effort just right behind a motorbike, you either go that little bit too slow or too fast – and it’s dangerous on the TT bike behind the bike, they’re harder to control with roundabouts and traffic.”
Was your DQ last year a big motivating factor for you?
“For sure, I think it was a better day and the traffic flow wasn’t heavy that day so it’s good to come back and show what I can do.”
From the Giro to British time trials – do you miss the glamour?
“I miss some things, sure and I’d like to be World Tour one day but I like things as I have them; I can spend time with my family and also I can choose to ride whatever equipment I want, not what I’m told to.”
Are you getting close to the limit for the ’25?’
“Closer, but there is still room to improve, the traffic wasn’t that heavy on Sunday but still, I could have had better luck on the roundabouts.
“That occasion where I was DQ-ed I generated less power but was almost as fast.”
People are mentioning the Hour Record?
“For sure it’s something I’ve thought about for the future but I would need to obtain the appropriate support; I’ve spoken to Bradley Wiggins and he says that he believes that I have the power necessary for an attempt…”