Maja Włoszczowska won the silver medal of the world championships in the mountain biking marathon as a finishing touch to her career. The 80-kilometre competition (the total height difference was 3,100 metres) took place on Saturday in Capoliveri on the Italian island of Elba.
37-year-old Włoszczowska (Kross Orlen Racing Team), two-time silver medalist of the Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, Rio de Janeiro 2016), lost only to 19-year-old Austrian cyclist Mona Mitterwallner by 1.13 minutes.
Born on November 9, 1983, Włoszczowska said goodbye to fans in the country a few days ago in a competition in her hometown of Jelenia Góra (southwestern Poland).
She started mountain biking in 1997 in the Śnieżka Karpacz team. In 2000, she joined the national team led by Andrzej Piątek and achieved her first international success in Sierra Nevada in Spain, she won the junior world vice-champion title. A year later, she became the European champion and vice-champion of the junior mountain bike world and a bronze medalist of the world championship on the road.
Although she faced some setbacks and even thought about ending her career, she became the world champion in the mountain bike marathon, this time in the elite category in 2003 at the mere age of 20.
In the world championships, she won one gold (2010) and four silver medals individually (2004, 2005, 2011 and 2013), not counting the trophies in the relay.
She is still the only Polish female cyclist to have Olympic medals in cycling. She won two silver medals in Beijing (2008) and Rio de Janeiro (2016).