Kwiatkowski Crushes Volta ao Algarve Time Trial and Extends GC Lead
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won by an overwhelming margin in today's 13.6 kilometer stage 3 individual time trial of the 2014 Volta ao Algarve in Portugal. Kwiatkowski won by 11 seconds over Team Movistar's Adriano Malori and finished 13 seconds faster than teammate World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin of Germany.
Kwiatkowski was three seconds faster than Martin at the intermediate point, and averaged 58.078 km/h on the parcours.
"I had a good rhythm immediately," Kwiatkowski explained to RoadCycling.com after the finish.
"This morning I performed a recon of the stage route and the last part of the stage three times as it was the most technical part. The work we did with the team on time trial bike positioning paid off today. Together with our bike sponsor 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 time trial today and I could feel the difference."
By winning today's time trial Kwiatkowski remains in the leader's jersey for another stage.
Commenting on his performance in today's time trial, World Champion Tony Martin said "For me today's time trial was a little bit too short, but I felt really good. 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-by-day, so it just means I need a few more racing days to get my body working really well."
Today's stage victory is Kwiatkowski's second of this year's Volta ao Algarve and his third win this season.
Analysts are expecting tomorrow's 164.5 kilometer stage 4 to culminate in aggressive racing in the final climb up Alto do Malhão.
"Tomorrow is another day," Kwiatkowski explained. "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 general classification, but I trust 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 challenges of the next stages."