Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski wins his second Volta ao Algarve

Polish cyclist Michal Kwiatkowski was crowned the winner of the Volta ao Algarve for the second time, finishing first in the overall classification as well as the final stage on Sunday (February 18).

He attacked on the final climb of the race’s fifth stage to secure victory and steal the overall title from Sky teammate Geraint Thomas, who had won the competition in 2015 and 2016.

It is the second time Kwiatkowski won the competition following his first triumph in 2014.

Portugal’s own Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) and Serge Pauwels (Team Dimension Data) completed the podium on the hilltop finish at Malhão. The final 173km stage saw cyclists pedalling their way uphill with five climbs along the route.

Speaking after his win, the Polish cyclist guaranteed that his final attack was not planned but “just how the race went”.

“I really had in my head that the only way I can look Geraint Thomas in the face after the stage, was after winning the stage,” he said. “That is why I tried to do it so much and that is why in the end we are really happy.”

Proving there were no ill feelings between the two, the teammates embraced at the end of the race.

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky, Poland) 18:54:11
2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky, Britain) +0:01:31
3. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing, USA) +0:02:16
4. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo, Netherlands) +0:02:22
5. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors, Luxembourg) +0:02:33
6. Jaime Roson (Movistar Team, Spain) +0:02:49
7. Maximillian Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors, Germany) +0:02:50
8. Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data, Belgium) +0:02:50
9. Felix Grosschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe, Belgium) +0:02:51
10. Nélson Oliveira (Movistar Team, Portugal) +0:02:54

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Photo: Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky celebrates on the podium after winning the final stage of the 44th Algarve Tour cycling race over 173.5km between Faro and Alto do Malhão in Loulé on February 18