A professional rider usually looks forward to a well-earned break from racing around November. Podia took this opportunity to invite Karol Domagalski on a ride with us one cold, misty Saturday.
Karol has been riding for Raleigh GAC for the past year, but will be joining ONE Pro Cycling for the 2016 season. However, his professional career started as a staggiare in Spain in 2009.
His first memory of Spain was when shortly after landing he was waiting alone in the airport feared his professional career might have been over before it had even started. It took some time until eventually someone from his new team showed up.
To settle quickly into a tough environment, with only English as a second language while his teammates spoke only Spanish, Karol had to learn fast, if he stood any chance of developing there. But that he did.
After only one season he signed for Pro-Continental Caja Rural and the troubled start in Spain was now a distant memory. Developing into a good all-rounder he has proven himself in stage races, classics and criteriums. He counts the 2014 Vuelta a España amongst his palmares where he describes the daily routine as a means to help him through the incredibly tough challenge. By the end of the gruelling three weeks his only thoughts were that of beds and resting.
These moments are the making of riders, and Karol quickly learned the reasoning behind such cycling proverbs as: Don’t stand if you can sit, and don’t sit if you can lay.
Next year marks a new chapter in Karol’s career with his move to a team with a new approach to professional cycling. In a sport that often struggles with funding and sponsorship, the new methods adopted by former cricket player Matt Prior when he started ONE Pro Cycling were refreshing. Understanding that many problems of today’s teams centre around the sponsors leaving, he set about creating a team with it’s own brand.
According to Karol: Prior’s past in professional sport means he understands the importance of making each component of the team the best it can be. When we all met, he announced that we would receive the best possible equipment with 100% backup. All we have to do is keep calm and ride to achieve our goals!
It is an exciting time to be at the young British squad as it enters its first year as a Professional Continental Team. With this new status it also welcomed a handful of new riders including the Australian sprinter Matt Goss from Orica GreenEDGE and former British Champion Kristian House. Karol Domagalski will be the second Pole in the team after Polish TT champion Marcin Białobłocki.
We wish Karol and his new team ONE Pro Cycling the best of luck for the coming season!
We also asked Karol few quick questions:
Long or short socks?
Long or short bibs?
World Champ’s kit, white bibs or team bibs?
Aero or lightweight frame?
Shimano or Campy?
Favourite team bike (not including new team)?