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Kwiatkowski wins Volta ao Algarve - Portugal's Ruben Guerreiro is 2nd

cyclingalgarveMichał Kwiatwkowski (Team Sky) took victory on the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve, sealing the general clas-sification at the same time. Portugal's Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) and the Belgian, Serge Pauwels (Team Dimension Data), completed the podium on the tough hilltop finish at Malhão, reports Cycling News.
 
The trio had made the day’s early break, and with Kwiatkowski the only man in GC contention out front, the Pole comfortably sealed the overall win - repeating his 2014 feat. What remained of the Sky controlled peloton crossed the line almost two minutes later, having never looked like catching the break.
 
The British team clearly had a gameplan, with Kwiatkowski biding his time until the final climb of the day before making his move. Attacks came and went throughout the day but Kwiatkowski was patient before showing his strength with 2km left to run, simply leaving the rest of the break behind as he rode solo to the finish.
 
How it unfolded
 
At 173km, the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve was the shortest of the race, but by no means the easiest with five categorised climbs along the route. One one - the cat three Picota at 63km - came in the first half of the stage.
 
There were two additional third category climbs - Alto de Ameixieira at 99.6km, and Vermelhos at 153km. Either side of Vermelhos came two ascents of Malhão - one at 132.6km, and once at the finish. The climb, 3km long, topped out at a touch over 10%. Two intermediate sprints were at 16.8km and 127.6km.
 
After 15km a large group of 31 riders broke away. Notable names included Tony Martin (Katusha), Philippe Gilbert, Zdeněk Štybar (both Quick-Step Floors), Kwiatkowski (the best-placed GC rider in the group at 19 seconds down) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ).
 
The attacks started 90km into the stage, with Jürgen Roelandts (BMC) and Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) among those attempting to strike out. Things were soon back together though, with the real action saved until the first ascent of Malhão.
 
There, some 40km from the finish, the lead group was shattered as Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) struck out alone. He quickly put 30 seconds into a small chase group, and a minute in the remainder of the break.
 
Pöstlberger was out on his own until Štybar joined him on the Vermelhos climb, 20km from the line. The break lay 30 seconds further back, while the Team Sky- and BMC-led peloton were three minutes further back.
 
Štybar left his companion behind on a sharp unclassified climb with 11km to go, his advantage over the chasers up to 45 seconds as he reached the bottom of the race’s concluding climb. With 2km to go, Kwiatkowski followed Davide Cimolai’s (FDJ) early attack, launching himself away from the group and up to Štybar.
 
The Pole soon passed his ex-teammate, riding unchallenged over the final 1500 metres to the stage and overall victo-ry.
 
Further back, Pauwels led the charge, taking Guerreiro and Stefan Küng (BMC) with him. After a tactically smart ride up the climb, Guerreiro made his move with 500 metres remaining, sealing second place ahead of Pauwels.
 
For the Cycling News race results in detail, click HERE 
 
 
Michal Kwiatkowski wins the final stage and the overall at Volta ao Algarve
 
Michał Kwiatwkowski (Team Sky)
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