Kwiato third in Liege

23 Apr 2017

Kwiato third in Liege

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Michal Kwiatkowski produced a strong late surge in Ans to secure third place at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The Pole came from deep within an elite front group in the final kilometre, finishing with an impressive turn of speed to clinch a podium in the Belgian Monument.
Team Sky rode hard in the closing stage of the famed Ardennes Classic, with Sergio Henao twice attacking to string out the bunch as the day’s 10 tough climbs were ticked off.
Henao and Gianni Moscon pushed hard on the final run-in to chase down a number of attacks, but the race came down to the final climb and it was Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) who again demonstrated his imperious form to secure victory.
The Spaniard overhauled Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) in the finish straight, while Kwiatkowski dug deep to come home three seconds later for third. Henao backed up his team-mate with 13th.
After crossing the line Kwiatkowski summed up his race, explaining: “I felt good at the finish, but at the end of the day I was too far back and I couldn’t fight for the victory. It’s a pity because I had really good legs and really great support from the team. Sergio (Henao) was amazing at the end.
Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski

We rode so well, not only today but the whole week. I’m thankful for a podium at Liege but for sure I will be back in the future to fight for the victory.
“The breakaway got so much time very quickly. We expected Movistar to control it easily and they would bring it back before the real race started. But it was so difficult to chase them down, and we were trying to cooperate together with a couple of teams. The pace was so hard and nobody was really able to make the difference.
"Sergio was a real team-mate today. I told him that I was feeling good and he was there to support me at the end. I’m happy we worked so well together.”

The mood at the start was one of reflection, with a minute of applause in dedication to Michele Scarponi, who tragically lost his life while out training on Saturday.
With 258km on the agenda and eight riders up the road early on, Movistar began setting a tempo on behalf of pre-race favourite Valverde. Yet the gap spun out to over 13 minutes as the race made the turn at Bastogne, and after three hours Team Sky began to lend their weight to the chase via Pete Kennaugh.
The first big attacks began to fire on the Col du Maquisard, before Sebastian Henao came to the fore with an acceleration on the famous Cote de La Redoute.
The first big move from Sergio came on the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, splitting the bunch behind, before another dig on the Cote-Nicolas.
Moscon working hard on the run-in, with Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) final rider to be reeled in from a brave breakaway with 9km to go.