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Interview: Sylwia Kapusta
By Bart Hazen
Date: 12/12/2011
Interview: Sylwia Kapusta

Interview: Sylwia Kapusta
Interview with 29 year old Sylwia Kapusta (Poland). Next year she will be riding for the Norwegian Hitec Products team alongside Emma Johansson.

29 year old Sylwia Kapusta (Poland) had a really good season with an 8th place in the Giro Donne and 4th place in the Giro della Toscana. In 2012 she is going to ride for the Norwegian Hitec Products UCK team alongside Swedish star Emma Johansson. An interview:

Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Sylwia Kapusta, 29 years of age. I am a lover of sports, especially cycling. I am loving the sun and mountains and they call me the dreamer.

I am married and I am the happy wife of Darius Szydlak. In the autumn and early winter I live in Rzeszow (Poland). All the other seasons in the year I am traveling all around the world. I am graduated in Physical Education. I am a climber and can handle almost every terrain.

How did you get involved with cycling?
In 2004, a friend convinced me too join the club CWKS Resovia Rzeszow. I started to ride MTB races and after 2 months of work with my coach Eugene Korbecki, I won medals at the Polish MTB Championships.

My career developed slowly and in 2008 I started to ride on the road with the POL-AQUA team. In 2010 I signed a contract abroad with Safi Pasta Zara and the past season I rode for Gauss. In 2010 I started with a new coach Marco Compri. Back than I really started to invest in cycling with specific training, peaking to races etc.

What kind/type of rider are you?
I love to ride in the mountains. If it's harder then I have more pleasure and satisfaction. So I am doing well in the high mountains and the hills. Criteriums and sprints are not my strongest points.

Sylwia Kapusta Photo © 2011 Sylwia Kapusta

How do you look back at your season? Having strong results in the Giro Donne and the Giro della Toscana.
I am very pleased with my season. I think it is just the beginning of the way to my best performances and personal development! The Giro Donne was my main goal for 2011. I worked hard and wanted to go as best as I can. I crashed on the Mortirolo, which affected my mood, but to be in the top 10 of the GC was probably for everyone a big surprise.

You are going to ride next year with Team Hitec Products UCK. What do you expect for your first season with them?
I am very happy that I will be racing with Hitec Products UCK next year. It will give me great opportunities to develop myself into a better bike rider. I think I can learn a lot on all aspects of cycling riding alongside a star as Emma Johansson. I hope for a good and fruitful cooperation with the entire team, we will be a very strong team in the women's peloton in 2012.

What will be your role within the Norwegian team?
Mainly for the mountain races. It will be a chance to help the team in the best possible way and to try to score myself as well if I will get the opportunity. It will certainly not be easy and I have to work hard for it. We have strong girls in the team and I think that each of us will get their "5 minutes" of fame.

How do you see the cooperation with star Emma Johansson?
Very good! We have one common goal and that is the success of the team. So it can't be different.

What will be your goals next season?
The road race at the Olympic Games... but I will also fight for another good result in the Giro d’Italia!

Participating (middle) at the World Championships in Rudersdal, Denmark. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What will be your goals on long term as a person and as a cyclist?
As a person? that's a good question. If I know I will tell you. However, as an athlete to achieve the highest possible Olympic Champion, World Champion or a win in the Giro Donne! I have high ambitions so probably I won't be satisfied that much.

How do you prepare for a new season?
Currently I prepare my season at home due to a broken right hand. So I can't ride my bike outside and I am not able to run and swim. So for the moment my preparation includes the turbo and some gym exercises. In the second half of January I will be in Italy for training and in the beginning of February there will be the first team camp of Hitec.

You did MTB in the past. Why the full change to road racing?
Because I saw a greater chance of my development. I started to make progress much faster than in MTB. And when, were the races on hilly terrain or hills I felt like "a fish in water".

Your idols are Lance Armstrong and Emma Pooley. Why Pooley?
Emma because I like the way she rides in the hills and mountains. She has strong attacks and solo rides to win races. And similar to me she started cycling late and reached the top very quickly.

What is Sylwia doing when not riding a bike?
During the season reading books, listening to music and car rides in the mountains. After the season on holiday with my husband, walking through the mountains and going out with friends.

What did you study? And what do you want to do after cycling?
I graduated in Physical Education at the University of Rzeszów. At the moment I have some ideas in my head but nothing serious. I don't think too much about it yet. Time will tell.

You are a fan from rock & roll and rock Music in general. Which bands, artists of songs do you prefer?
I listen to different music depending on the mood. But it is a fact that I like rock & roll, mainly on the dance floor. I like the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Rolling Stones and Green Day.

Final question. What is your motto?
Constantly strive for our dreams, because dreams are beautiful. When we are striving for them sooner or later dreams will come true. An example: I dreamed about becoming a professional and to finish in the top 10 of the Giro Donne but never thought to realize it. But the best is that these dreams all came through.


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