Kwiatkowski delights in Tirreno-Adriatico triumph
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski expressed pride in his "most important stage-race victory" to date, after winning the Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday.
The Pole found himself as Sky's leading contender when team-mate Geraint Thomas suffered a mechanical issue on Saturday's fourth stage.
Kwiatkowski duly held off Damiano Caruso in the final-stage time-trial, which was won by Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) for the second year in succession.
Thomas managed to claim the final place on the podium, ahead of Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
"That's my most important stage race victory," Kwiatkowski was quoted as saying by cyclingnews.com. "Tirreno-Adriatico is one of the hardest stage races to win so I'm really happy to be on the first step.
"It's been a difficult week for all Team Sky, we had some bad luck with Geraint Thomas, but at the end of the day we were motivated to have a really good race and that's how it was."
Dennis posted a time of 11 minutes and 14 seconds to pip Jos van Emden (Lotto NL-Jumbo) and Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) to victory in the concluding 10-kilometre time-trial.
#TirrenoAdriatico He's done it again! @RohanDennis wins the closing time trial in San Benedetto de Tronto for the second consecutive year . Congrats, Rohan! #Ride_BMC#DontCrackUnderPressurepic.twitter.com/1ZxTGDczYl-- BMC Racing Team (@BMCProTeam) March 13, 2018
Tour de France champion Chris Froome was well down the field in 34th, while Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) finished 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 25 hours, 32 minutes and 56 seconds
2. Damiano Caruso (BMC) +24secs
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) +32secs
1. Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) - 33pts
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) - 30pts
3. Marcel Kittel (Katusha Alpecin) - 24pts
1. Nicola Bagioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa) - 35pts
2. Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia) - 25pts
3. Dario Cataldo (Astana) - 20pts