Kwiatkowski fulfils favourite status with stage win and race lead at Tour de Pologne

07 August 2018 05:26
Six years after he first wore the Tour de Pologne leader’s jersey for two days, Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) returned to the top spot overall in his home race thanks to a stunning uphill victory in Szczyrk. In 2012, Kwiatkowski could arguably make the most of the fact he was still a little-known third-year pro. But, in 2018, there was no such possible flying under the radar for the Polish national champion, who was flagged up as the pre-race favourite, and was the major home favourite with the massive crowds on the climb in Szczyrk chanting his name repeatedly long before the shattered peloton hauled its way up stage 4's steep final kilometre-long ascent. To his immense credit, Kwiatkowski did not buckle at all under the immense pressure and instead the Team Sky racer fulfilled all the expectations placed on his shoulders, not only out-powering defending champion Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) on the climb, but even distancing the Belgian by a few seconds for his first-ever stage win in Pologne.ADVERTISEMENT Kwiatkowski praised his teammates for doing their utmost to deliver him to the foot of the final climb in a perfect position and, in the process, having asphyxiated any risk of late breakaways with a furiously high pace on the very hilly run-in. "It's incredible you know, my teammates took all the responsibility even without being sure if I or Sergio [Henao] were in a good condition because I didn't know how my legs were after the Tour de France," Kwiatkowski told reporters afterwards. Visibly keen to stay near the front on stage 2's technical finale, the Pole added: "on the three flat stages I felt motivated but, on the other hand, you never know exactly how you are going to feel on such a steep gradient like this. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News