Kwiatkowski sprints to second

05 Apr 2017

Kwiatkowski sprints to second

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Michal Kwiatkowski continued his strong showing at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco with second place on day three.

The Pole showed a great turn of speed at the finish in Donostia, winning the reduced bunch sprint for the runner-up spot, three seconds back on solo stage victor David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors).
 
On a tough and undulating stage Kwiatkowski had been moved into a great position ahead of the final climb. Vasil Kiryienka strung out the pace over the Mendizorrotz, thinning out the bunch.
 
De La Cruz launched a brave attack and held on to win the stage, while Sergio Henao dug deep on the final run-in to help limit the Spaniard's advantage. The Colombian champion joined Kwiatkowski, Mikel Nieve and Sebastian Henao in the elite 40-rider group.
 
With overnight leader Michal Matthews (Team Sunweb) dropped on the last of the day's six categorised climbs, the yellow jersey now switches to De La Cruz. With no bonus seconds on offer in the Basque Country, another consistent stage placing saw Kwiatkowski elevate himself to fourth overall. 
 
With 160.5km on the agenda, Team Sky helped share the pace setting duties with Movistar for much of the day, with David Lopez to the fore on the first-category Santa Ageda.
Kwiatkowski led the bunch home behind De La Cruz

Kwiatkowski led the bunch home behind De La Cruz

After the stage Sport Director Gabriel Rasch told TeamSky.com: "We're happy with our position after three days. So far we've had two pretty easy days but today was a more traditional Basque Country stage. 
 
"After the break went we saw there were some pretty guys up the road. When the gap went up we decided we were going to start riding and Movistar did the same. We started with Lopez and (Michal) Golas and they did a great job bringing it back to around two minutes.
 
"Then we reached the final of the race and it got faster and faster. Sergio had the option to go on the final climb but I think he didn't feel the climb was hard enough to make a significant gap. So once over the top we just wanted to bring it back. If a few other teams arrived earlier there was a chance to bring it back for a sprint. But in the end De La Cruz just stayed away."
Gabriel Rasch

Gabriel Rasch

It pretty much gets harder with each stage now and the last three days will be full on.
Stage three result:
 
1. David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) 3:54:25
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) +3"
3. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
5. Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida)
 
Overall standings:
 
1. David De La Cruz (Quick-Step Floors) 12:14:54
2. Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) +3"
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) s.t.
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)
5. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe)

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