Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Magazine

Kwiatkowski Wins Volta Ao Algarve Stage 2

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

AFP / Omega Pharma – Quick-Step

Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski of the Omega-Pharma team seized the overall leader’s yellow jersey on the Volta Ao Algarve after winning the second stage on Thursday. The Polish champion edged clear in the final six kilometers of the 196-kilometre run from Lagoa to Monchique and crossed the line six seconds ahead of home favorite, and world champion, Rui Costa of Lampre-Merida and Spain’s Alberto Contador, who is competing in his first race of the season.

In the overall standings, Kwiatkowski leads Rui Costa – who also finished second in the opening stage to Albufeira – by four seconds and Tinkoff-Saxo rider Contador by 12 seconds.

“To start a season like this is always really nice,” Kwiatkowski said. “I worked so much on my climbing going into the season, I trained really hard with guys like Michal Golas in Spain, and I’m seeing a lot of improvements right now and it’s great to have wins that prove it. For this race, the last 60 kilometers were tricky. It was not easy to stay in the front, but the team kept me there comfortably. That was the key of the race, to stay in front. Tinkoff-Saxo was doing the rhythm and they had a few guys working before the last climb. I had Michal Golas at the bottom of the last climb with me. On the last climb Alberto Contador attacked with about 700 meters until the summit. I just followed him. When I looked back, no one was following us. I knew I had some energy reserved in the legs and went on my own. I knew there was a descent and a false flat after the climb, so if I attacked at the top of the climb I could get an advantage. Because, it’s not easy to chase back after that point. I did my own pace until the finish. It was really hard to get to the line, but I arrived and I am very happy with this victory. Algarve is only my second race this season and I’m thrilled as I’ve done a lot of work to get here. Since the beginning of the year I’ve also had such great support from my teammates and I want to thank them again today.”

Kwiatkowski looks to defend his overall lead at the Stage 3, 13.6km ITT on Friday.

“As for the yellow jersey, the second, third and fourth stages will likely decide the overall classification and it will be a fight until the end,” Kwiatkowski said. “It’s actually really nice to compete with guys like Costa and Contador. I have to give all I can tomorrow and the next days. Tomorrow is the time trial, which is only 13.6 kilometers, but we will see. I heard it was a bit technical, with a few corners at the end. It will be my first time trial of the year. It could be difficult, but I also worked on the time trial during the winter. Last year Tony Martin won the time trial and GC and I was 2nd, and now I will do my best to protect this jersey with the help of my team.”

Friday’s third stage will be a 13.6-kilometer individual time trial from Vila de Bispo to Sagres, with the five-stage race concluding on Sunday.

Volta Ao Algarve Stage 2
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/Omega Pharma) 4:57:57
2. Rui Costa (POR) @ :06
3. Alberto Contador (ESP) @ s.t.
4. Eduard Prades (ESP)
5. Alexandre Geniez (FRA) @ :17

General Classification After Stage 2
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma) 8:49:33
2. Rui Costa (POR) @ :04
3. Alberto Contador (ESP) @ :12
4. Eduard Prades (ESP) @ :16
5. Edgar Pinto (POR) @ :27