Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco Stage 5: Kwiatkowski on the Podium of Bunch Sprint
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Michal Kwiatkowski finished 3rd in the 160.2km 5th stage of Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco on Friday.
OPQS rider Tony Martin led Kwiatkowski out beautifully on the descent into the finish, and also kept the tempo high enough to chase down any breakaway attempts. Kwiatkowski launched first out of the group, but it was Ben Swift (Team Sky) who was able to take the win in the bunch sprint. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) was 2nd. Kwiatkowski has finished 3rd multiple times at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.
Wout Poels, who won Stage 4 on Thursday, did a great job bridging to an attack by Valverde with 9.3km to go, which also brought GC leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) with him. The trio had an 11" gap on the descent, but the peloton was able to catch the three riders with 1.7km to go. That is when Tony Martin took over with a blistering pace. Even an attack by Pieter Weening (ORICA-GreenEDGE) was brought back thanks to the power of Martin on the front.
OPQS looks next to the final stage, a 25.9km ITT, on Saturday. Michal Kwiatkowski and Martin will have their eyes on a good performance. The ITT parcours features two climbs.