Kwiato wins on Grand Colombier

14 Jul 2023

Kwiato wins on Grand Colombier

Tour de France stage 13: Châtillon-Sur-Chalaronne › Grand Colombier, 137.8km.

A performance for the ages from Michal Kwiatkowaki saw him win solo atop Grand Colombier to record his second Tour de France stage victory. 

The INEOS Grenadier attacked from a breakaway on the final climb to secure a sensational win, finishing nearly a minute ahead of the chasing pack. 

Kwiatkowski was part of a strong breakaway which escaped the peloton in the early stages, staying clear under a tough pace from behind to hold off the bunch before the remains of the group fought it out for the win.

He accelerated clear of the break with 11 kilometres remaining, riding solo to victory and repelling the chasing lead group as well as the GC group behind to secure his second Tour stage victory. 

Elsewhere, Tom Pidcock (fifth) and Carlos Rodriguez (11th) stayed in contention from the GC group as they put in a superb climbing performance in a rapid finale behind.

Pidcock moves closer to seventh placed Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) while Rodriguez retains fourth on GC despite, losing just 15 seconds to Jai Hindley (Bora Hansgrohe) in third. 

Three Grenadiers in the first 11 places ensures the team also top the best team classification heading into two more tough mountain stages before the second rest day. 

Michal Kwiatkowski

"Without the fans that wouldn't be possible...Fans were amazing and driving me to the finish, that's an amazing feeling"

Reaction

Michal Kwiatkowski

"I had 18 friends in the breakaway and then a nice advtabage on the final climb. It was a crazy experience. When I got into the breakaway I thought that this was maybe just a free ticket into the bottom of the climb or something like that but I never thought that this group would fight for the stage win because UAE were pulling pretty hard at the back. 

"To be honest it’s not easy to chase 19 guys on the flat…it’s just crazy. This morning we just really didn’t want to miss any big breakaway - like any day. We tried to go in the big moves; you know when people are moving on the flat that there might be nobody happy to chase with UAE and perhaps there were just to many guys in the front and I just found probably the best legs that I’ve ever had in my life…I didn’t believe that’s possible but here I am. 

"Winning on the top of a mountain like Grand Colombier - obviously I had memories with Egan Bernal here thinking about quitting the race which he unfortunately did later on - so that was bad memories for us. With Richard that was a different feeling - full gas from start to finish and we could enjoy the last 15km together but today the last effort was probably one of the hardest of my life but I managed myself well, paced myself well and that was going to be a long effort. Without them (fans) I guess that wouldn’t have been possible. 

"I didn’t have the car behind me on the last climb and I couldn’t really hear what was happening on the radio so the fans were amazing  and driving me to the finish. An amazing feeling."