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Bialoblocki snags WorldTour win in final time trial at the Tour de Pologne

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Stage 7 winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) at the Tour de Pologne

Stage 7 winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) at the Tour de Pologne (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Stage winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland)

Stage winner Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) gets ready for the stage 7 time trial at the Tour de Pologne

Marcin Bialoblocki (Poland) gets ready for the stage 7 time trial at the Tour de Pologne (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Marcin Bialoblocki (UK Youth Pro Cycling) retained the leader's jersey by the slimmest of margins

Marcin Bialoblocki (UK Youth Pro Cycling) retained the leader's jersey by the slimmest of margins (Image credit: Sportsfile)

From the streets of Croydon to the top step of a WorldTour podium, the final stage 7 of the Tour de Pologne was a special and slightly surreal day for Marcin Bialoblocki.

The 31-year-old has been riding on the UK domestic scene this year with Continental-level outfit One Pro Cycling but swapped the city-centre criteriums and time trials for rather more glamorous surroundings this week as part of a Polish national team at their home race.

And on the final-day time trial, he upset all those who compete two tiers above him with a commanding performance on the 25-kilometre circuit in the old Polish capital of Krakow.

“It’s incredible, absolutely incredible,” Bialoblocki said in English after emerging from a Polish media scrum. “It doesn’t compare, it’s absolutely different level [to a Continental race].”

“I wasn’t expecting the victory. I was doing what I could, there were lots of crowds, everyone supporting. Some people came like 700 kilometres to support me and I said ‘I will give everything’. After the finish I fell off my bike – I couldn’t stand on my feet.”

One Pro Cycling, the team founded this year by ex-cricketer Matt Prior, has submitted an application for a Pro Continental licence for next year, which would give Bialoblocki a taste of more races like this. He has had a successful year in Britain so far and is currently fourth in the British Cycling rankings, but he can’t help but admit that leaving it behind is an attractive prospect.

“I think it [Pro Conti] would be really good. Races like this will be much more often, there won’t be any more small races. We have good team, a strong team, and I think it would be great,” he told Cyclingnews earlier in the week when he pulled on the jersey for most active rider after a breakaway effort on stage 3.

“[In Britain] it’s good, it’s high level, good racing. Some races are much harder than here. It’s different; it’s like race all day, not like a break and easy, plain sailing. It’s not bad but I prefer stage races – I’m better in them. You don’t have to train lots, just race and rest – this is much better.”

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.