Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 4: Kwiatkowski Leads after Froome Victory


Whilst Chris Froome was the stage winner, the leader’s jersey went from Cavendish to teammate Michal Kwiatkowski in Tirreno-Adriatico

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Chris Froome took a stunning mountaintop victory on stage four at Tirreno-Adriatico as Team Sky dominated on Prato di Tivo. The Brit was able to sit behind his team-mates on the first category climb as Dario Cataldo, Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Urán set a searing pace before handing over to Froome heading under the flamme rouge.

2013-Tirreno-Adriatico fROOME STAGE WIN

After the team had weathered the storm of attacks by rivals including Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Froome made no mistake as he attacked in the final kilometre, streaking clear to win in style.

Froome held off his closest rival Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini) by six seconds with Nibali coming home a further five back to round out the podium. Yet a strong performance from Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) was enough to hand the Pole a slender four-second lead over Froome.

After two separate attacks as he tried to disrupt the rhythm of Team Sky, Contador finished the day 15 seconds back on Froome, slightly distanced at the finale. Over at Paris-Nice Team Sky also put in a strong performance to defend the yellow jersey for Richie Porte on the penultimate stage. The Tasmanian now heads into the final stage with a 32 second lead.

Chris Froome said of the win “I’m really happy with that victory it was a really good day for us. “I only ended up doing a kilometre in the wind myself. It really was an armchair ride. To have the guys there who were with me on the climb – Rigo, Sergio and Dario – to have them pulling for me when guys like Nibali and Contador are attacking is a really good feeling.”

“I think everyone was hurting up at the top there. I had a little bit left to go in that last k and that was down to the work that was done by the rest of the guys during the day. It’s going to be a tough fight. Kwiatkowski is maybe a surprise leader but he’s definitely shown that he’s got the form to be up there in that leadership position. It’s going to be hard to prize that off him but we’ll take it one day at a time and do everything that we can.

“There is some great momentum behind the team at the moment with the guys doing so well at Paris-Nice. There’s a great buzz around the team and we want to try and carry that along. There’s a really great feeling over here and morale is high. Watching the guys do the business in Paris-Nice yesterday just motivated us all the more to do what we did today.”

Tirreno Adriatico Stage 4 (c) Tim de Waele

Whilst Froome won the stage, it was Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Michal Kwiatkowski who keeps the Maglia Azzurra in the team by 4″, after finishing with a very elite group in the crucial 4th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday.

Kwiatkowski was 4th, 13″ back from Froome. His terrific effort kept the blue jersey with OPQS, as Mark Cavendish wore the jersey up to this important stage. Kwatkowski is ahead of Froome and Contador, two of the top GC riders in the WorldTour peloton.

HC climb Prati Di Tivo — 14.6km, and a 7.1% average gradient with a max ramp of 12% — is often where the GC is sorted out at Tirreno-Adriatico. Therefore, unsurprisingly, all the top GC contenders attacked, splintering the peloton and dwindling the elite group down to a few riders. Team Sky led the elite group with several teammates. Even as Contador, Nibali, Froome, and others were testing the group in the final kilometers, Kwiatkowski stayed with the group, visible with his White jersey for Best Young Rider.

Kwiatkowski and OPQS look next to another crucial mountain stage, 224km Stage 5, on Sunday. OPQS currently holds 3 of the 4 race jerseys: White and Blue are with Kwiatkowski, and Cavendish wears the Red.

“Tirreno-Adriatico was one of my main goals for the beginning of the season, but I couldn’t have expected before that I could take the leader’s jersey today,” Kwiatkowski said. “There a lot of big champions here like Contador, Froome, and Nibali. I didn’t believe that I could maybe stay with them before today. But my team did such a great job from the first stages into today, so that I could believe in myself and do my best on the final climb to keep the leader’s jersey in our team.”

“We have a really hard stage tomorrow and until now everything went good,” Kwiatkowski continued. “I don’t know what I can expect from the others, but I will do my best to try and keep the jersey. I think I can get a lot of help from my teammates and I will focus on not losing too much time tomorrow, or the day after. My goal here is to go for the White Jersey for best young rider. My speciality is with the time trial. I will try to gain some seconds in the final stage. There are a lot of strong riders, but we will all do our best as we have until now to achieve our goals.”

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 4:41:31
2 SANTAMBROGIO Mauro Vini Fantini 0:06
3 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 0:11
4 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 0:13
5 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 0:15
6 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff
7 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 0:20
8 POELS Wout Vacansoleil – DCM 0:43
9 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team
10 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:58

14 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 1:13
21 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 1.45
31 VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura 3:38
54 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 7.31
73 KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling 12.17
74 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard
83 CANCELLARA Fabian RadioShack – Leopard 15.07
84 POPOVYCH Yaroslav RadioShack – Leopard
98 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team
108 DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team 15:17
166 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 19:51

1 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 16:04:59
2 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 0:04
3 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 0:16
4 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:30
5 URAN Rigoberto Sky Procycling 0:33
6 HORNER Chris RadioShack – Leopard 0:40
7 SANTAMBROGIO Mauro Vini Fantini 0:55
8 CASTROVIEJO Jonathan Nicolas Movistar Team 1:04
9 KREUZIGER Roman Team Saxo-Tinkoff 1:16
10 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquim Katusha Team ,,
11 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 1:18
25 MARTIN Daniel Garmin – Sharp 2:31
48 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 9:29




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