"I have failed many times... But I never stopped believing" - Emotional Katarzyna Niewiadoma finally gets much-deserved big win at La Fleche Wallonne Femmes

So often the bridesmaid in the biggest races over recent years, Katarzyna Niewiadoma finally managed to secure her first road victory since 2019 at La Fleche Wallonne on Wednesday.

Afterwards, the 29-year-old Pole was understandably overcome by the emotion of what she had just achieved. “This means a lot to me,” Niewiadoma reflected post-race. “I really hope that with this victory, I inspire many people who pursue their dreams. I have failed many times, come second or third many times, but I never stopped believing that we could win again as a team. I really hope that this inspires other people to keep believing, to keep chasing their dreams. The reward is always waiting for us.”

A victory that will have brought a smile to the face of many watching, Niewiadoma's final ascent of the Mur de Huy left all riders in her wake, including Demi Vollering and Elisa Longo Borghini. “After Sunday, I didn't want to start cheering one centimetre before the finish,” she says, mentioning Lorena Wiebes' costly premature celebration at the Amstel Gold Race. “I also didn't want to waste energy by looking back. I just wanted to give it my all, because I knew: this is all I want, to sprint for the win.”

“This race was really brutal. When we started, it started raining so hard and the temperature dropped dramatically. But inside I knew it was my day. Somehow I felt that. And to be honest, the circumstances were also in my favour. I always benefit from tough races like this," the Niewiadoma continues. “As a team, we stayed positive, even though we were all shivering from the cold. My teammates were great. They brought me warm clothes so I could change. We kept the focus on the final."

“Honestly, I just want to enjoy today. Maybe tomorrow or Friday I'll start thinking about Sunday (Liege-Bastogne-Liege ed.), but after not winning for over four years, this is the main thing on my mind right now,” she concludes.

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