Polish cyclist Maja Wloszczowska says she believes a home European Games in Krakow-Malopolska is the perfect opportunity to promote mountain biking in the nation ©Getty Images

Polish cyclists Maja Włoszczowska and Natalia Niedzwiedz say they believe a home European Games will provide an opportunity to promote their sport in the country.

Włoszczowska, the most successful Polish athlete in mountain biking, has won two Olympic silver medals in the sport, and was also the world champion in 2010.

She retired from the sport following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but has moved into sports administration, and is on the Coordinating Commission for this year’s European Games, scheduled to take place in Krakow-Małopolska, Poland.

Włoszczowska invited fans to come out and support competitors in the mountain biking events at Krakow 2023.

"In mountain bike cycling, fans can stand right next to the course, and cheering helps a lot," she said.

"That’s why I invite fans to turn up in crowds at the European Games, as well as at other competitions in Poland."

A mountain biking course is due to be built on the slopes of Parkowa Mountain, a prospect that excites Włoszczowska. 

"I will certainly want to ride on it and possibly offer some advice," she said.

Bartlomiej Wawak is among the Polish athletes tipped to enjoy success at the European Games in Krakow ©Getty Images
Bartlomiej Wawak is among the Polish athletes tipped to enjoy success at the European Games in Krakow ©Getty Images

"The planning is being done by a man who has been involved in mountain bike cycling for years, so he knows what is needed.

"From the riders’ point of view, it’s important that it’s versatile and technical, but also wide enough to get ahead of your rivals."

BMX freestyle cyclist Natalia Niedzwiedz also spoke of her ambitions and preparations for the Games.

"I plan to take part in the European Games," said Niedzwiedz.

"It was not an easy decision because Crankworx in Innsbruck is being held at the same time.

"However, it fell on Krakow."

Niedzwiedz described the Krakow-Małopolska 2023 European Games as "a super opportunity", adding: "The competitions are local so there's no long trip far outside Poland, planning everything.

"There will be more strength left for the competition.

"Above all, it is an opportunity to promote the sport for Poles."

 The 2023 European Games is due to take place from June 19 to July 2, with BMX freestyle cycling due to be held in Krzeszowice and mountain biking set to be held in Krynica-Zdrój.