Michael Kwiatkowski won stage 2 of the 2014 Volta ao Algarve – with a solo victory in Monchique today.
The Polish rider managed to get away near the summit of the final climb. And, with 6 kilometers remaining, with his head tucked and hands in the "drops", he proceeded toward the finish line with fierce determination – beating his closest rivals Rui Costa and Alberto Contador by six seconds.
How the Race Happened
Today’s relatively flat route saw an early breakaway group containing Arrnaud Démare, Alexandre Pichot and Florian Senechal quickly establish a three minute gap over the peloton.
However, with Démare being only 10 seconds down on race leader Sacha Modolo’s time, Lampre- Merida was keen to keep a watchful eye on the escapees.
Indeed, the day ended for the escapees around the 100 kilometer mark – as they were reeled in by the peloton under the impetus of the Italian team.
Shortly thereafter, a trio of riders consisting of César Fonte, Luis Afonso and Volter Pereia initiated a subsequent escape. However, their efforts were short lived, as they were reeled back in by the peloton – not more than half a minute later. From there, Tinkoff-Saxo joined Lampre at the front with the pace setting.
With 25 kilometers remaining, Pello Bilbao launched a solo attack. However, despite the Spanish rider’s valiant effort, he too was reeled back in by the peloton at the 16 kilometer mark.
As the peloton reached the base of the final climb, teams began ushering their perspective riders to the front.
Kwiatkowski was the first rider to attack in earnest – going clear near the summit. He was eventually followed by Costa and Contador, but it was too late for either rider to catch the Pole – who at that point had established a 12 second lead over them.
As result of today’s win, Kwiatkowski moved up into the leader’s position in the overall GC – 4 seconds ahead of Rui Costa.
1. Michal Kwiatkowski 4.57.57
2. Rui Costa +0.06
3. Alberto Contador
4. Eduard Prades +0.07
5. Alexandre Geniez +0.17
6. Sergei Chernetskii
7. Chris Horner
8. Sergey Firsanov
9. Jonathan Castroviejo
10. Edgar Pinto
1. Michal Kwiatkowski 8.49.33
2. Rui Costa +0.04
3. Alberto Contador +0.12
4. Eduard Prades +0.16
5. Edgar Pinto +0.27
6. Ruben Fernandez
7. Sergei Chernetskii
8. Jonathan Castroviejo
9. Simon Spilak
10. Chris Horner
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