Kwiatkowski wins Tour of Poland

10 Aug 2018

Kwiatkowski wins Tour of Poland

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Michal Kwiatkowski and Team Sky stayed cool under heavy final day pressure to secure overall victory at the Tour of Poland.

The Pole was forced to push hard in the closing kilometres of stage seven in a bid to shut down a dangerous late attack from Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
Equal to the task, Kwiatkowski dug deep to cross the line sixth in Bukowina Tatrzanska, ensuring he kept hold of the yellow jersey with a winning margin of 15 seconds in his home race.
Victory represented Team Sky’s first overall success in Poland, with Kwiatkowski backed up by a strong performance from his teammates across the seven days.
Ian Stannard and Michal Golas combined well as the team set about controlling an 18-man breakaway on the final day. Lukasz Wisniowski upped the tempo as the team safely negotiated a repeated sector of gravel roads. Salvatore Puccio helped on the day’s tough climbs, and in the closing stages it was Pavel Sivakov and Sergio Henao who held firm to peg the gap to Yates’ dangerous attack.
The Brit at one point rode himself into virtual yellow, but Kwiatkowski was able to do enough to secure a popular victory.

After the race Kwiatkowski described the final kilometres as the race went down to the wire, and heaped praise onto his Team Sky teammates.

He said: "That's the Tour of Poland - you know you are going to be fighting right up until the end of the race. We didn't panic as a team. It's amazing having such a strong team here in the race. Without the boys I would not have been able to defend the jersey. Yesterday and today they rode amazing stages and I'm really thankfully to all the guys. 

"It started off at the beginning with Wisniowski, Yogi and Michal Golas, then Salvatore Puccio. Then at the end Sergio Henao and Pavel Sivakov were incredibly strong. 

"Considering how long this race is I was on my own for only a few kilometres at the end. It's a difficult scenario when you don't quite know the gap to the front, but also you don't want to lose positions at the finish. At the end of the day everything worked out perfectly and I'm so happy."

Stage seven result:

1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 3:37:17
2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +12"
3. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
4. Sam Oomen (Team Sunweb) +14"
5. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) s.t.
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 24:23:54
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +15"
3. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +20"
4. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +24"
5. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) +27"

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