Tour of Britain Stage 4: Kwiatkowski Wins Race in Final Meters, Takes GC Lead by Seconds
OPQS rider Michal Kwiatkowski chased all the way until the final 100 meters of 184.6km Tour of Britain Stage 4, from Worcester to Bristol, on Wednesday. His hard work succeeded at the last moment, as he earned the stage victory and also the overall lead.
The Polish rider was chasing down Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano), who had a very small gap over a small chase group inside the final kilometer. Timmer was the remaining rider from an original breakaway, while Bauer had bridged to Timmer in the final kilometers as the gap was minimal thanks to some very hard efforts by OPQS and other teams on the front of the peloton.
It seemed Bauer and Timmer might be able to make it, but just before the line Kwiatkowski appeared on the right side and passed them, with enough time to raise his arms in victory. Timmer was 2nd, Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) was 3rd. Kwiatkowski is now the race leader by three seconds.
The victory of Kwiatkowski is the 62nd (60th road) for OPQS in 2014. He's the first Polish Rider to win a stage at Tour of Britain.
"It looked like it, but I didn't actually come from nowhere," Kwiatkowski said. "It wasn't a classic sprint, to be sure. There was a hard climb at the end and the attack from Nicholas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) out of the peloton was really impressive. A few guys were able to follow his attack and chase the breakaway. We had in front of us two guys and I think they didn't see us before the last corner. They were looking back and didn't expect us to come. I started my sprint at the last corner and was sure no one was on my wheel. I'm happy I finished so strong after such amazing work from the team. Niki Terpstra and Julien Vermote really closed this big gap to almost 10 riders. That's not an easy thing. I'm happy we finished off a tough job with this victory. We have such great team spirit we can all decide together in every moment on what to do and commit to it wholeheartedly. I'm also really happy about my condition. Racing here at Tour of Britain is also an amazing thing. I know the British public from the London Olympics and the start of the Tour in Yorkshire. The crowd here is wonderful. Racing here is something special, and winning here is even better. I will now enjoy this victory, and my race leadership, and we will plan for the next days. We've got a really strong team here and we will keep trying hard. For now, I want to thank my teammates for taking such good care of me today and we will see what we can do day-by-day. We've already won two stages, which has really boosted the morale."