Kwiatkowski wins Dauphine prologue

03 Jun 2018

Kwiatkowski wins Dauphine prologue

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Michal Kwiatkowski kicked off the Criterium du Dauphine in superb style with a victory in the opening prologue.

One day after his 28th birthday, the Pole clocked an unbeatable time of seven minutes and 25 seconds around the 6.6-kilometre opener in Valence, claiming victory by just over a second.
The result saw him pull on the race’s opening yellow and blue jersey, during a day which saw Team Sky display plenty of strength in depth. Gianni Moscon impressed with a powerful ride to third spot on the stage, just three seconds back on his teammate. Moscon will don the white young rider's jersey on Monday's stage one, while Kwiatkowski also bagged the green points jersey for good measure.
Jonathan Castroviejo headed down the ramp early but his time held up well for ninth place, nine seconds back on Kwiatkowski.

Geraint Thomas was the final Team Sky rider down the ramp but the Welshman endured a tough start to the famous stage race. Sliding out on a fast right-hand corner, Thomas crashed into a roadside fence but was able to quickly remount and finish. A gutsy effort saw him drop only 21 seconds at the line, bettering a number of general classification contenders despite hitting the deck.
Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski

You have to always be at the start thinking about the win, otherwise you are not able to perform well.

After a perfect start to the Dauphine Kwiatkowski admitted he wasn’t sure how he’d perform, having not raced since Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April.
He explained: “After 40 days without racing of course it’s a bit of a surprise, but I know how hard I was training to be in good shape here in the Dauphine, as well as preparing for the Tour. You have to always be at the start thinking about the win, otherwise you are not able to perform well.
“It's going to be difficult, the transition I have to make from spring and performing in the Classics, to getting ready for the Tour. I was training for more than two weeks at our altitude training camp getting ready for the climbing. Let’s hope I can find my legs, if not here then for the Tour.”
Kwiatkowski also shared his support for co-leader Thomas following his crash on a tricky corner.
He added: “I know where it happened, it was a really fast bend. I know G can fight for the win in this race. Let’s hope he’s all right and there’s nothing serious. 
“Both Geraint and myself we came here to see how the shape is growing before the Tour. It’s an advantage to win the prologue but the hardest stages are at the end of the race – four mountain finishes, four really hard stages and a team time trial. For sure we are looking forward to racing hard, but at the moment I just want to enjoy this victory. I had my birthday yesterday and as well this is maybe the last time trial in the national champion’s jersey. Of course I will try to defend it at the national championship in a couple of weeks, but it’s always a nice feeling.” 

Prologue result:

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 7:25
2. Jos Van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1"
3. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) +3"
4. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) +5"
5. Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing) s.t.

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