Rider Diary

Rider diaries with Pavel Bittner

Newsletter

Hi everyone,

2022 has been an exciting year for me so far, but let’s start with preseason last winter. Coming out of a good 2021 season I first had a good period of rest, and I also used to do some other sports. I really like hiking, so I used the winter doing that, but I also did some ski mountaineering, swimming, or other things you don’t really find time for during the season. I also went mountain biking and did two CX races and I really enjoyed that as well.
With the new season coming closer, I spend a lot of time in Spain to prepare myself for the new season. In total, I spent two months there and my preparation was on a pretty high level, so I came into the season fresh, ready to race, and in a good shape.

I started my season at the beginning of march with a few One-day races. The GP Jean-Pierre Monseré for example I already knew from last year, which was a big plus in that kind of races. We went to those races with a mixed line-up of WorldTour & Development Team riders, which was the perfect way for me to get the ball rolling. There were no big results for me personally but gaining the experience and race with the men was already worth it.

 

I continued racing at the Tour de Normandie, where we really rode together as a Team. Everybody did a super nice job there during the day and in the final, it was up to Casper and me to finish it off. We really had trust in each other for the final sprint, which can also help us in the future. Having the fastest guy in the race on your wheel is always a nice thing and it was nice that we could get the stage wins there. In general, it was a super nice week in France.

From there I went to the Tour of Turkey, which was the first stage race for me with only WorldTour-riders. That was another super nice experience, and it was also nice to be part of the team that could take the first win of the season for our colors. While we were doing a few mistakes in the beginning, we were getting better every day, and picking up the stage with Sam was a nice reward and really special.

In May I was able to graduate from Highschool and went on to prepare for the Course de la Paix. From there I went on to the Ronde van Overijssel and Rund um Köln, where I could achieve two Top 10 results. That was a nice confirmation of my shape and gave me some confidence going into the next races.

Course de la Paix was my first race on home ground for the season. My teammate won the prologue, and I had a solid day there too. After winning the first stage last year, I became second this year and was able to get the leader’s jersey going into the queen stage of the race. On the hilly last day, I aimed for the win again, but one guy was faster, so I got my second podium of the race. At that moment it was indeed bittersweet, but looking at it now, it was a good week of racing.

I had some solid races at the national and European Championships before I turned Pro on the 1st of August. My first race as a pro was the Sazka Tour on the first days of August, which was the best way possible to start this new chapter of my career. It was really special to me because I used to follow the race when I was younger, and we had a race hotel pretty close to my home city and we were racing on my training grounds.
The break stayed clear on the opening stage, but we had more luck the following days, where Oscar and Max could show themselves on the climbs and got nice results for the team.

From there I went to my first block of WorldTour races, and these were again super nice experiences. When I look back at this year, it was a year full of lessons I could learn and nice experiences I made to grow as a rider and as a person. These WorldTour races taught me big lessons since this is a completely different way of racing. But being able to race with the best cyclists in the world was a really valuable experience I could take home from Canada.

Just the trip to Canada was a bit challenging because of some trouble with my Visa, but in the end, I made it and had a great time with the team and staff in Canada.

Now I am just coming out of the World Championships in Australia. The Parcours suited me quite well and I had an eye on the podium. In the end, I came in 6th, which is still a nice result, that I can be proud off. For 2022 there are only a few races left before the preparation for the next year already starting after some rest.

Looking forward now to my first full season as a professional!

See you somewhere on the road,

Pavel