• Michal Kwiatkowski take the win in Szczyrk (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) took a win on home roads in the Tour of Poland, sprinting clear of Dylan Teuns (BMC) on the final run to the line on the uphill finish in Szczyrk.
Cycling Central

Team Sky
8 Aug 2018 - 12:19 PM  UPDATED 8 Aug 2018 - 12:50 PM

Kwiatkowski remained in control across an extremely steep final kilometre in Szczyrk, moving to the front of the group inside the final 400 metres before attacking and catching late escapee Teuns, shooting past to take the win and move into the overall lead.

“Winning here on that stage is really special," said Kwiatkowski. "My family and Agata [Michal's fiancé] are here, and that was really perfect. Winning in front of the public when people expect you to is just an amazing feeling."

Kwiatkowski was the key lieutenant for Team Sky at the Tour de France, marshalling the race and pulling key turns on the front when required. He used that form to produce a superb performance as the team leader in Poland.

"After the Tour you're never really sure about your condition," said Kwiatkowski. "Of course I was mentally ready to have a good race but you never actually know.

“The team took responsibility today, chasing for the whole day, and that was a big thing from the boys so full credit to them. I was so happy that I could finish the job in that style."

Kwiatkowski had to overcome a late attack from Ricardo Carapaz (Movistar) who launched at the foot of the final climb and established a dangerous lead.

“It’s a typical scenario," Kwiatkowski said of Carapaz's attack. "When you go from the gun on a gradient like that - you can compare this climb to the Cauberg or the Muur du Huy - you are never really going to go at that speed until the finish.

“I stayed calm until the last 300 metres. I knew some guys had more experience in racing that final, last year especially. Dylan Teuns said in the pre-race press conference that he’s in really good shape and he won this stage and race last year and I was pretty sure that he would be up there."

Kwiatkowski now sits eight seconds clear at the top of the standings, with last year's Tour of Poland winner Teuns in second, and the Polish champ is relishing the next few days of action.

“I’m looking forward to the next stages - that’s given me a big boost of confidence about where I’m at with my condition. We are expecting some fireworks over the next few days. It’s always close in Poland but this is a nice advantage to have.”