Video: Sylwester Szmyd — learning to lead

Polish climber steps into leader's role and wants to leave his mark on 2015 Giro d'Italia.

Having inked a contract with Polish ProContinental team CCC Sprandi Polkowice Sylwester Szmyd closed a long period of his professional career. 37-year old left behind all he has ever know since his early departure to Italy at the age of 16 in late 90s and is now, for the first time in his life, regarded as team leader.

Szmyd, a veteran taking pride in completing 22 three-week races, is now facing possibly the biggest challenge of his career. Over years he earned a label of an excellent climber and loyal lieutenant, but in the months to come he has to show that an attempt to step outside the gregario mindset was successful and that he is capable of winning, not only decimating the bunch on the steep mountain roads as he used to do for years.

Szmyd's adventure and CCC's bid to shine in some of Europe's finest races hasn't come unnoticed. This year the team is accompanied by a television crew from TVP Sport. This ensures a regular coverage and some backstage videos from major races.

The second episode takes us to Andalucia where CCC riders competed two weeks ago. 22 minutes footage shows how a day of a pro rider looks like - from the first sound of morning alarm clock to the last flash of a night lamp at a bedside table in the evening.

The video (now with English subtitles) not only gives an excellent insight into team's every day life during the race but also explains basic aspects of professional cycling to wider public.

During the day Szmyd talks about his role in the team, race habits, memories of Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini and days when races were far less nervous. Piotr Wadecki, team's directeur sportif, outlines the goals for the stage and the future and motivates experienced rider to change  the way he behaves during the race.

Szmyd's attempt to win the stage 3 proved unsuccessful, as peloton lead by Tinkoff-Saxo didn't give the breakaway much space. Polish climber was not discouraged and bounced back the next day, finishing 4th in on Alto de Allanadas and crossing the line behind victorious Christopher Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Mikel Nieve (Team Sky).

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