News: Kwiatkowski, Poels & Moscon 2019 Goals

Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon and Wout Poels discuss their season goals for Team Sky in 2019

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

News: Kwiatkowski, Poels & Moscon 2019 Goals

Michal Kwiatkowski has his sights set on challenging for Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2019 – a race he would love to win. With two third places to his name – in 2014 and 2017 – Kwiatkowski has previously described Liege as ‘the race of his dreams’. And the Pole has made subtle tweaks to his early race programme to give him the best chance of success.

He said: “My main goal for the first part of the season is to be in the best shape possible for the Ardennes. Let’s hope I can be up there amongst the best riders to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I’ve slightly changed my approach to the season and I will start later, at the UAE Tour, then probably Paris-Nice and Pais Vasco so not as much racing [as 2018]. I hope to be in the best shape possible for the Tour de France and in the last part of the season I would like to do some Classics for a change. I might go to Canada and I’d like to be in the best shape possible for Il Lombardia and the World Championships in Yorkshire.”

After a stellar 2017, when Kwiatkowski won Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and San Sebastian, the 28 year old demonstrated his world-class versatility in 2018, with a number of major stage race wins. He said: “On reflection, the 2018 season was amazing for me, winning three stages races: Algarve, Tirreno-Adriatico – which was a big thing for me – and also the Tour of Poland.

“Winning stage races was not my main goal, but it was great to get such great results and get the first wins for Team Sky at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Poland – I was very proud. It was also good to go for the GC at the Vuelta and aim for stages. It was my second Grand Tour of the season and it was not an easy challenge but I was up for it. I tried and I did my best and I had the leader’s jersey for a couple of days.

“It was really difficult to stay in top shape, having started in May with the Dauphine, Polish Championships, then the Tour de France and Tour of Poland before going to the Vuelta and then Worlds. It was a big challenge for me to stay at a high level but that experience will stay with me until the end of my career and I can use it in the future.”

Racing as Polish champion at the Tour of Poland was special enough for Kwiatkowski, but going on to take the overall title was something else. “There are some races which you chase for a very long time and want to win, like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which I still want to win one day. It was the same with Milan-San Remo until I won it in 2017 and it was the same situation with the Tour of Poland.

“I found that a very difficult challenge, especially performing in front of home crowds as there is always a big expectation from your fans to win on home soil. To win a stage, then win another stage in the leader’s jersey was an amazing experience and I think the people in Poland really enjoyed it. It’s good to finally have it on my palmares.”

The 2014 world road race champion, Kwiatkowski is eyeing this year’s World Championships, to be held on British soil in Yorkshire. “It’s in my race programme to do the Worlds in Yorkshire, and looking at the World Championship course, which is nearly 300km, I would like to be in the best shape to compete with the best riders in the world. I know it’s going to be a difficult race and the weather at that time of year in that part of England can play a big role.”

“One of the possibilities would be to race the Tour de Yorkshire to prepare, but coming so soon after the Ardennes – and with me wanting to be fresh for the Tour de France – it depends how the season goes to whether it fits in around my spring programme.”
… continued after advert

Gianni Moscon
Gianni Moscon is looking forward to riding his first Giro d’Italia in 2019. The Italian will once again target the Spring Classics as he aims to improve on his career-best fifth place finish at Paris-Roubaix in 2017, before tackling his home Grand Tour in May.

He said: “The main objective for the next season is the Classics in Belgium, the pave Classics, and then I’m really looking forward to the Giro: my first Giro d’Italia. Riding the Giro d’Italia is really exciting for me. As an Italian kid I grew up watching the Giro and now to be there on that screen with all my family watching in Italy will be amazing.”

Moscon enjoyed a strong finish to 2018, winning Coppa Agostoni and Giro della Toscana, before defending his Italian time trial crown and winning the Tour of Guangxi, the final WorldTour race of the season. Hopefully I will continue the good form of the last part of the season,” Moscon added. “It’s always difficult to get to the top of the condition when you want but I started last year well and I’m really confident I can be in good shape in the spring.

“I love the pave. It’s unique. You ride on that terrain only for the Classics and no more during the season. That’s what makes the atmosphere. It’s something epic. My fifth place in Paris-Roubaix gives me motivation to go there and get a better result and really fight for the win. I think arriving so close in 2017 makes me hope for a big result.”

The Italian rode to an impressive fifth in the World Championships in Innsbruck last year and he also has his eye on competing in Yorkshire this season. Of course the World Championships in Yorkshire is one of the objectives for this season. Some people say it’s easy; some people say it’s hard. I think it will be a hard World Championships like always. The distance is really long and I don’t think there are any easy roads in Yorkshire!

“I rode the Tour de Yorkshire in 2016. What I remember is the massive amount of people watching the race on the side of the road, even if it was raining. I remember a big crowd everywhere. The atmosphere is simply amazing. The race was hard – no flat at all! You are always on the pedals.”
… continued after advert


Wout Poels
Wout Poels is hoping to start his 2019 season with a bang at the Tour Down Under. Poels will lead the Team Sky charge in the first race of the campaign and the Dutchman has been working hard over the winter to be ready for 2019’s curtain raiser.

Currently training in Brisbane with teammates Dylan van Baarle and Pavel Sivakov – who will join Poels on the TDU start line in Adelaide – Wout has been enjoying acclimatising to the Australian summer. “Normally we would arrive two days before a race but of course with the time difference, plus the fact it’s full summer over here, it made sense to come out here for two weeks before the race starts. It’s good, especially with the weather – it’s important to acclimatise. Today it was 30, 32 degrees, and it’s humid – so we’re sweating a lot!”

“I’ve never done the Tour Down Under and I’ve always thought it’s an interesting race to do. I started to think about it last year, spoke to Tim [Kerrison], and I think it’s a nice goal to start the season with.”

Wout, Pavel and Dylan will travel to Adelaide on the 10th of January to meet up with the rest of the team’s Tour Down Under squad. “You’re never too sure what to expect from the first race of the season,” explained Poels, “but I’ve been training well. The whole winter went to plan. Hopefully we can do something nice at TDU – that’s the goal. We will see.”

After the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race Poels will head back to Europe and is likely to tackle the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico, before attacking the Ardennes. Since winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2016 – Team Sky’s first Monument victory – Poels has not been able to hit the Ardennes at 100%. After being forced to skip them due to a knee injury in 2017, 2018 was only a little better – Amstel Gold was his first race back after breaking his collarbone at Paris-Nice.

“I love racing the Ardennes,” continued Poels, “although it wasn’t the easiest first block back after a broken collarbone last year! I always have a few key goals for the season. I’d like to really do well in the Ardennes Classics – that’s important to me – but I always like to do well in all of the races I start. Of course I would like to get selected for the Tour again, to support the boys there, but I’ll try to be good everywhere I start.

“People like to have one clear target but I never look at it like that. New year, new season – I have to smash it everywhere!”


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK