21-Feb-2014: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Michal Kwiatkowski won by an overwhelming margin in the 13.6km Volta ao Algarve Stage 3 ITT on Friday. Kwiatkowski won by 11 seconds over Adriano Malori (Movistar Team) and was 13 seconds faster than teammate and UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin.
Kwiatkowski was three seconds faster than Martin at the intermediate point, and averaged 58.078km/h for the entire parcours.
“I had a good rhythm immediately,” Kwiatkowski said. “This morning I performed recon of the stage, and the last part of the stage three times as it was the most technical. My Specialized Shiv was perfect. The work we did with the team and Specialized working on the details of the time trial paid off today. Together with Specialized we worked a lot in the wind tunnel, on the track in Valencia, and in Mallorca to find the best bike position for me as well as my teammates. It was my first TT today and I could feel the difference.”
The victory keeps Kwiatkowski in the leader’s jersey for another stage.
In addition to Kwiatkowski and Martin finishing in the top three of the stage, there were three riders in the top 10 as Thomas De Gendt finished 8th. Five OPQS riders also finished in the top 20 including Julien Vermote and Michal Golas in 11th and 18th, respectively.
“For me the time trial was a little bit too short, but I felt really good,” Martin said. “The roads were sometimes a little bumpy, there were cobbles in the final so it was not so easy. It was a little bit like a Belgian classic. But it was the same for everybody. It wasn’t dangerous or anything. One time in the final I missed a corner and lost maybe one or two seconds, but I felt really good overall. I could push the pedals with good power all the time, and in total I am very happy with my performance. I can see I am improving day-to-day, so it just means I need a few more racing days to get my body really working.”
This is the third victory for Kwiatkowski in 2014, the second at Volta ao Algarve, and also the 10th win for OPQS in three disciplines.
OPQS looks next to 164.5km Stage 4 on Saturday. The race could include some major fireworks as the finale is on Alto do Malhão.
“Tomorrow is another day,” Kwiatkowski said. “I know the Alto do Malhão pretty well as I’ve done it twice in my career. Anything can happen. I think Rui Costa and Alberto Contador will try to do something for the GC, but I trust in my teammates and know they will support me in the yellow jersey. I finished 2nd last year and I always come here motivated to be in the best shape. So I am really looking forward to the challenge in the next stages.”
Results on Friday from the third stage of the
Tour of the Algarve, a 13.6-kilometre time trial:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/Omega Pharma) 14min 57sec, 2. Adriano Malori
(ITA) at 11. 3. Tony Martin (GER) at 13. 4. Alberto Contador (ESP) at 20. 5.
Alex Dowsett (GBR) 25.
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma), 9hr 03min 36sec, 2. Alberto Contador
(ESP) at 32. 3. Rui Costa (POR) at 38. 4. Alexandre Geniez (FRA) at 1min
00sec. 5. Sergei Chernetski (RUS) at 1min 03sec.