Impressive win for Michal Kwiatkowski in Strade Bianche
Mar 04 2017 10:46 pm CET

Impressive win for Michal Kwiatkowski in Strade Bianche

Michael Kwiatkowski has won the Strade Bianche. The Team Sky rider finished ahead of a chase group with Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens.

The 2017 edition of the race began with world champion Peter Sagan as its top favorite but the Slovak reportedly didn't feel well and was force to retire.

At 50 kilometers from the finish, a lead group of five with Thibaut Pinot, Quentin Jauregui, Jose Goncalves, Truls Engel Korsaeth and Simone Andreetta was closely followed by a chase group with strong riders like Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Dumoulin.

The leaders, down to four as Andreetta had already been dropped, were caught by the chasers at around 35 kilometers from the finish. A new front group of ten formed as the original chase group had split shortly before catching the lead group.

The high pace set by some of the stronger riders in the front group soon proved too much for several of those involved, but it wasn't high enough to increase the gap with Van Avermaet who had ended up on the wrong side of the split but soon found his way back to the front along with Tim Wellens and Luke Durbridge.

Wellens and Van Avermaet later attacked with Michal Kwiatkovski and Zdenek Stybar and immediately created gap on the hilly Tuscan roads while having to stand the rain and the cold.

Dumoulin, Durbridge and Christopher Juul Jensen eventually rejoined the lead group but Kwiatkowski attacked shortly after to restore the chaos and force his rivals to chase him down.

The winner of the 2014 edition gave it his all to increase the gap with the chase group, which split into two when Van Avermaet, Wellens and Stybar left the others behind in their attempt to catch the Polish leader.

The Team Sky rider remained out of sight however, and completed the final climb in Siena with a comfortable margin over his nearest chasers. At the finish, the former World Champion had 15 seconds left in respect to Van Avermaet and Wellens, who finished second and third respectively.

With this victory, Kwiatkowski is the second rider to win the Italian race more than once. Only Fabian Cancellara (three times) preceeded him.



Photo of Michal Kwiatkowski (cropped) by Team Sky.





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