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by Shane Stokes
February 16, 2018
Van Avermaet wins stage 3 of the Tour of Oman; Poels wins stage 2 of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol; Kwiatkowski takes first win of season on stage 2 of Volta ao Algarve; Tough economic conditions mean an end for the Tour of Alberta; Sharing leadership with Dennis, Roche hunting top 10 in Giro d’Italia; Trek XC team signs Ellen Noble and Evie Richards; D’hoore looks towards title defence of world Madison title; Video: Chasing Spartacus – updates on Phil’s “race” with Fabian Cancellara, Part I; Video: Peter Sagan – The Crazy Man; Video: The problem with cars; Video: A Fixie Documentary
Unleashing a powerful surge inside the final few hundred metres, former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski blasted in first at the end of stage two of the Volta ao Algarve, thus landing Team Sky’s second victory of the day after Wout Poel’s success in the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol.
The Polish rider beat three others for the win, with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) needing to be content with the minor placings. Martin had gone after Kwiatkowski but faded close to the line and was overtaken by the other two.
“It’s one of my favourite 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.
“I have to say it was a little bit unexpected. A week ago I was racing in Valencia with Wout Poels and we had solid form, but we didn’t step up with the results. Then 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. That’s why we went so hard today.”
The day’s break comprised seven riders and gained seven minutes. Towards the end of the stage to Fóia, Ben King (Dimension Data) and Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) jumped clear of the break, but they were ruthlessly reeled in. Kwiatkowski then surged, taking his first victory of the season. Thomas now leads overall from Ronson, Kwiatkowski, Martin and Mollema, who are all on the same time.