Forty years after founding Specialized, Mike Sinyard toasted Michal Kwiatkowski’s (Poland) win in the men’s road race at the World Championships as a landmark victory for the American bike brand.
Kwiatkowski’s victory marked Specialized’s third world title on the road and although the Pole is set to race just once more this season – at the Tour of Lombardia – his bike supplier are busily putting the finishing touches to the new custom-paint job for his Tarmac.
“This is really big and so exciting to win the Worlds, especially as this is our 40th anniversary,” Sinyard told Cyclingnews from his home in the U.S.
“We’ve won on the road two other times and this is really exciting because Michal is such a great young rider. Our whole team has worked with him and his set up on the bike. So when you see such a great guy take Poland’s first win in the race, it makes it so special.”
Sinyard watched the Worlds road race from his home and enjoyed the action throughout, however he added that Kwiatkowski’s bravery with a late attack impressed him the most.
“He wasn’t even listed as a favourite but this brave 24-year-old took them all on and won. We launched the new Tarmac this year and he loves the bike and how it rides. Of course this is his win, but we’re all really proud for him.
“What’s interesting is that I think that the cycling World Championships are for the real cycling enthusiasts. The Tour de France for example, everyone knows that. So for us this helps with exposure and the beauty of the whole thing is that he has the jersey for the entire year. Hopefully there’s no curse, like there is for some in the past.”
Kwiatkowski’s team (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) have had world champions in their ranks in the past. Coming into Ponferrada they held the individual and team time trial titles but they lost both to performances from BMC Racing and Bradley Wiggins. At this stage, Sinyard said that it’s difficult to put a figure on the amount of bike sales and exposure Kwiatkowski’s win would generate for his brand.
“That’s hard to judge but what I would say is that this is part of the journey for us as a company and this is a great celebration for us and the athlete. We’ve worked hard with Michal to make sure he has the bike he needs and he has put in an amazing ride.”
Sinyard and his staff’s next task will be to make sure that Kwiatkowski’s freshly painted bike arrives in Europe in time for this weekend’s Tour of Lombardy.
“The guys were talking about that today. We’re working on it now and we’ll have some new graphics. We’ll work on that form the US and hopefully have something Michal will enjoy in the next few days.”
This story was originally published on Cyclingnews – view it here.