Kwiatkowski powers to victory on home roads

07 Aug 2018

Kwiatkowski powers to victory on home roads

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Michal Kwiatkowski stole the show on day four at the Tour of Poland, timing his late attack to perfection to win the stage and move into the race lead.

Racing on home roads Kwiatkowski remained in control across the savagely steep final kilometre in Szczyrk, moving to the front of the group inside the final 400 metres before reeling in Dylan Teuns (BMC) and blasting past last year's race winner to take the win and move into the overall lead.

Teammate Sergio Henao came home in ninth to cap a great day for the team, after strong riding from Ian Stannard, Lukasz Wisniowski, Michal Golas, Pavel Sivakov and Salvatore Puccio saw Kwiatkowski and Henao dropped off in the perfect place at the foot of the final climb.

Sivakov and Puccio particularly impressed after riding down the remnants of the day's break on the penultimate climb, before pushing the pace on the tough descent, deterring attacks from behind.

Hitting the climb it was over to Kwiatkowski and the masterful Pole showed his class, refusing to panic when Richard Carapaz (Movistar) built a substantial gap on the early slopes of the final ramp.

It's the Pole's first win at the Tour of Poland and speaking to afterwards, he said he couldn't have imagined it going any better in front of friends and family.

He said: “Winning here on that stage is really special. My family and Agata [Michal's fiancé] are here, and that was really perfect. Winning in front of the public when people expect you to is just an amazing feeling.

"After the Tour you're never really sure about your condition. Of course I was mentally ready to have a good race but you never actually know. 

“The team took responsibility today, chasing for the whole day, and that was a big thing from the boys so full credit to them. I was so happy that I could finish the job in that style."

Was he worried when Carapaz built a sizeable gap?

“It’s a typical scenario," he continued. "When you go from the gun on a gradient like that - you can compare this climb to the Cauberg or the Muur du Huy - you are never really going to go at that speed until the finish.

“I stayed calm until the last 300 metres. I knew some guys had more experience in racing that final, last year especially. Dylan Teuns said in the pre-race press conference that he’s in really good shape and he won this stage and race last year and I was pretty sure that he would be up there."

Kwiatkowski now sits eight seconds clear at the top of the standings, with last year's winner Teuns in second, and 'Kwiato' is relishing the next few days of action.

He added: “I’m looking forward to the next stages - that’s given me a big boost of confidence about where I’m at with my condition. We are expecting some fireworks over the next few days. It’s always close in Poland but this is a nice advantage to have.”
Stage four result

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 4:25:44
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC) +0:03
3. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
4. Sergei Chernetski (Astana) s.t.
5. Daniel Moreno (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 13:51:22
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC) +0:08
3. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:10
4. Sergei Chernetski (Astana) +0:14
5. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) s.t.

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