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by Matt de Neef
February 19, 2018
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Alexey Lutsenko wins the Tour of Oman; Tim Wellens secures the overall at Ruta del Sol; Michal Kwiatkowski takes out the Volta ao Algarve; Jonathan Hivert wins both stages and overall at Haut Var Matin; Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne Cant take Superprestige wins in Middelkerke; Riders critical of Froome’s appearance at the Ruta del Sol.
It was a Team Sky 1-2 at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal with Michal Kwiatkowski taking overall honours ahead of two-time former winner Geraint Thomas.
After winning Friday’s individual time trial Thomas led the race into the weekend. Dutchman Dylan Groenwegen (LottoNL-Jumbo) won the bunch sprint on Saturday’s stage 5 ahead of Matteo Pelucchi (Bora-Hansgrohe) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) — his second stage win of the week. Thomas finished behind a small split, three seconds behind the stage winner, but still led by 19 seconds going into the final stage.
On that final stage Kwiatkowski made his move from an elite lead group on the final climb, overtook lone leader Zdenek Stybar (QuickStep Floors) with 2km to go, then rode to the finish on his own to take his second stage win of the week. Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) were next across the line while Thomas finished 1:50 down to slip to second overall.
“We had our eyes open at the start and we felt that was the best way to defend yellow and to defend second place and even go for the stage win,” Kwiatkowski said of his attack. “I’m very thankful for the team and especially to G for that opportunity. Nobody expected the race was going to go that way, it was not a typical way to defend a yellow jersey.
“The only way I was going to be able to look G in the eyes after the race was going to be if I won the stage and did everything perfectly.”
You can read more about Kwiatkowski’s win at the Team Sky website.