Race Report
Michal Kwiatkowski won stage 2 at Volta ao Algarve...

Kwiatkowski makes it a Sky double with Algarve stage 2 win

Michal Kwiatkowski wins uphill finish on stage 2 of Volta ao Algarve. Sky teammate Geraint Thomas takes overall lead.

Following up his Sky teammate Wout Poels’s win earlier on Thursday, Michal Kwiatkowski sprinted clear on an uphill finish to win stage 2 at Volta ao Algarve in Fóia, Portugal.

“Today I heard on the radio that Wout had won at Ruta del Sol — that was good news and gave us a little bit of extra motivation,” said Kwiatkowski.

Top 10, stage 2

  • 1. Michal Kwiatkowski, TEAM SKY, in 4:49:51
  • 2. Bauke Mollema, TREK – SEGAFREDO, s.t.
  • 3. Geraint Thomas, TEAM SKY, s.t.
  • 4. Daniel Martin, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, s.t.
  • 5. Jaime Roson Garcia, MOVISTAR TEAM, s.t.
  • 6. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :03
  • 7. Bob Jungels, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :03
  • 8. Pieter Serry, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :03
  • 9. Vicente Rubio, AVILUDO – LOULETANO – ULI, at :03
  • 10. Richie Porte, BMC RACING TEAM, at :03

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Geraint Thomas, TEAM SKY, in 09:37:49
  • 2. Jaime Roson Garcia, MOVISTAR TEAM, s.t.
  • 3. Michal Kwiatkowski, TEAM SKY, s.t.
  • 4. Daniel Martin, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, s.t.
  • 5. Bauke Mollema, TREK – SEGAFREDO, s.t.
  • 6. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, at :03
  • 7. Bob Jungels, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :03
  • 8. Pieter Serry, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :03
  • 9. Vicente Rubio, AVILUDO – LOULETANO – ULI, at :03
  • 10. Louis Meintjes, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at :03

The Pole beat out a select group with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) coming home second. Another Team Sky stalwart, Geraint Thomas rounded out the podium in third and moved into the overall lead with Jaime Roson (Movistar) second and Kwiatkowski third on GC.

The climb to the finish was long at about 15 kilometers, but it undulated as it gained 650 meters.

“It was a strange climb; it was quite flat,” said Mollema. “I saw the videos from last year so I did not put too much energy into attacking and BMC and Sky still had a lot of guys there, so I just waited for the last kilometer.”

This afforded a chance for Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka to sneak off the front with about seven kilometers left. The tactic worked perfectly for Kwiatkowski and Thomas, who lay in wait as their rivals pulled hard to chase back the former world time trial champion.

After his Belorussian teammate was caught, Thomas led the charge into the final 500 meters.

The road kicked up, and Kwiatkowski moved to the front, ideally positioned on the right side. As the road swept to the right one final time before the line, he attacked. No one could follow his acceleration and the former world road champion won by a couple bike lengths.

“It’s one of my favorite races so I’m really happy today,” said Kwiatkowski. “The 14km climb was difficult — that’s pretty much the first solid summit finish for me [this season] and I’m really happy that we cooperated so well as a team.”

Thomas may have a chance to extend his lead Friday in the stage 3 time trial around Lagoa. The 20.3-kilometer course has a few slight climbs, but nothing significant.

“When you’re leading the race there’s always an added incentive and you feel a little stronger. I’m looking forward to tomorrow but there’s a lot of strong guys here. It will be a solid test to see where I’m at,” said Thomas.

“Tomorrow is a big day for the GC. We’ll see how we go.”