WorldTeam Meet the Lotto Soudal youngsters: Kamil Małecki
Next up in our series of ‘Meet the Lotto Soudal youngsters’ is Polish rider Kamil MaÅecki, for whom his start at Lotto Soudal wasn’t as he had imagined. Due to an unfortunate crash during a training ride in November last year, the 25-year-old broke his pelvis and collarbone. After he spent two months in hospital, MaÅecki could recently return home, where he is further recovering and working hard on his comeback. We caught up with Kamil and talked about his way to recovery, his excellent 2020 season and his ambitions and goals for the coming years at Lotto Soudal.
“It is of course not the start of my time at Lotto Soudal I hoped for”, begins Kamil MaÅecki. “After a short break, I started training again in November but unfortunately, I crashed during one of my first training rides. It made me really sad as I was really looking forward to meeting the team for the first time at the medical screenings in December.”
Despite the major setback and having to spend 60 days in hospital, Kamil kept his head up and remained motivated for the long process to recovery.
Kamil MaÅecki: “It was a big relief to finally be reunited with my family at home, where my recovery can now really start. I am happy with the progress I am making but as my pelvis hasn’t fully healed yet, it is still too soon to start training again. At the moment, I am not allowed to apply any force to the legs, so I am still limited to some small exercises. Recently, I have also started my rehab with a physiotherapist, so I think I am well on my way to total recovery. My collarbone has healed really well and I don’t feel too much pain anymore. I really hope that I can start training on the bike in March, but I have to await a scan to get the green light for that.”
Recovering from a broken pelvis requires a lot of resting, something that proves really difficult for a professional and highly motivated athlete like Kamil.
“At the hospital, I had so much time on hands. So, I decided to make good use of it as I tried to improve my English and of course, there’s always Netflix to help you pass the time. At home, I spend most of the time doing things that would normally take only minutes. Small things like going to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee are now taking ages. As a cyclist, it is difficult because you just want to go out and ride your bike. But at the moment, I am not that eager to go outside and risk anything, as there’s a lot of snow here in Poland during this time of the year”, explains the 25-year-old Lotto Soudal rider.
MaÅecki caught attention last season with a 6th place overall at the Tour de Pologne and a Grand Tour debut in the Giro d’Italia, where he managed to take a 4th place at the end of stage sixteen.
“Last season has been really good for me, actually one of the best in my career so far, and I hope the upcoming seasons will be even better. I am more of an allrounder, I prefer short and steep climbs and I am not slow at the finish either. Besides, I also love the Classics. When I raced in the U23 category, I took part in the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Kamil finished 4th in 2018) and Gent-Wevelgem. I am also fond of one-week stage races like the Tour de Pologne and it would be fantastic to win my home race one day! Last year, I got a first taste of the Grand Tours and I learned that it really suits me. I would love to win a Grand Tour stage in the nearby future.”
“I know that – when I return to racing – my shape won’t be the best, so I am eager to help my new teammates winning some races. Later, I hope to get some nice results myself. This year, it will be all about learning as much as I can from the more experienced riders and helping where possible. But first, let’s work for that full recovery! In any case, I will do everything to come back stronger than I was before”, concludes a highly motivated Kamil MaÅecki.