Kwiatkowski wins San Sebastian

29 Jul 2017

Kwiatkowski wins San Sebastian

Related riders

Share this article

Michal Kwiatkowski sprinted to his first San Sebastian title after a textbook team performance in the Basque Country.

Following great help from Mikel Landa in the final five kilometres Kwiatkowski had too much for Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and defending champion Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in the final sprint to win by several bike lengths.

Landa - who had launched a crucial attack on the final climb up the famed Murgil - rolled home fifth after setting the pace in the closing stages.

Team Sky had taken control early on, riding to the keep the break’s lead in check, before Gianni Moscon and Sergio Henao infiltrated a dangerous late move.

Moscon then went solo but was caught midway up the Murgil. That was the catalyst for Landa’s attack and Kwiatkowski was able to bridge to his team-mate just over the summit, before the pair played the final run to the line perfectly.

Michal Kwiatkowski

Michal Kwiatkowski

I didn't know how I’d feel after the Tour de France. I took some rest last week so I could prepare myself for this race.
Speaking before stepping on the podium, Kwiatkowski was quick to thank the team, as he reflected on another big win in 2017.

He said: “It's a great day. Winning this race this way was a dream for me.

"I'm very grateful to my team-mates. Landa played a crucial role and I want to thank him for waiting in the final.

“We took the responsibility from the beginning. We believed from the start that we could win and it's a pleasure to come here because it's a beautiful city with amazing fans.

“I didn't know how I’d feel after the Tour de France. I took some rest last week so I could prepare myself for this race.”

The rest clearly worked. Kwiatkowski was able to follow the attack of Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) on the Murgil, and the pair worked together to get across to Landa, Gallopin and Mollema.

From there Landa pulled on the front of the five-man group to keep the peloton at bay, while Kwiatkowski sat on the back, preparing for the sprint.

It could have all been very different had Moscon stayed away. After surging clear of the bunch at one stage the Italian had built a 40-second gap with 30km to go but, with the Murgil on the horizon, the peloton finally organised itself and swept him up.

Mikel Nieve then did crucial work chasing down several opportunistic attacks before Landa picked the perfect moment to launch his own. Gallopin and Mollema followed Landa, who had huge support racing on home roads, before Kwiatkowski and Dumoulin followed on behind and it was those five who would contest the sprint for the title.

Benat Intxausti had been a late addition to Team Sky’s squad but sadly the Spaniard, who has been suffering with long-term illness, had to retire after 80km.

Share this article