Michal Golas has announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2021 season, drawing his 16-year career to a close.
“I took the decision two years ago,” confirmed Golas, “when I renewed my contract with the team. I thought it would be my final two years and that was the plan.
“But the decision became harder and harder as the moment has come closer, particular as I realised every race I was doing was for the last time this season.
“This isn’t just my decision though, it’s also my family’s, and it’s time for me to give back to my wife and three kids. She is a Doctor, a specialist in diabetology, and she has sacrificed her career for the last decade. Now it’s her time to focus on her work. That has 100% been a part of my decision.
“I was also thinking that it would be nice to stop when you are still going well, so everyone remembers you as a strong member of the team.
“This season has been one of my best in the past five or six years. It shows that I’m still motivated, I’ve been training really well, and I will continue this way until the very end. I always wanted to finish in a good way and although I want to finish my racing career, I am far from tired of cycling.”
Golas has a close relationship with compatriot Michal Kwiatkowski and is often referred to as his Dad across the team.
“He became a Dad!” laughs Golas, after Kwiatkowski became a father for the first time last week. “So it’s almost gone full circle. When I told him the first time he understood the decision, but as we’ve got closer to the end we’ve realised how special these 10 years together across two teams have been. I hope he is going to miss me!”
And, although they could race together again this season, they both view the Tour de Pologne as a target. “I see it as a big chance that he will win this race and I won’t change my approach. I’m there to help him win and it would be nice if we can end our racing relationship this way.
“For me as a rider it has been a great pleasure to work for riders like Kwiato and Chris Froome… but I don’t even want to list names because if you look at the riders we have had across the past few years, there are so many champions. When I joined the team that was my goal: to help the very best guys in the world. I’m very satisfied that I could do this job. As a rider I couldn’t have ever imagined that I would be at this point when I’m 37.
“When I was 15 I probably didn’t even know cycling existed at this level. It was a very different time. Poland and cycling has changed so much.
“When I started my career I raised the bar every year and I wanted something more and more and I couldn’t even imagine that my career would go so far.
“I knew that there were many guys more talented me but I feel I proved that with hard work, you can reach the top of your own ambitions.”