kwiatkowski pleased with ineos start at criterium du dauphine

16:00    10 Jun 2019

Michal Kwiatkowski
Team INEOS rider Michal Kwiatkowski was the team’s best-placed rider in a reduced bunch finish in the opening stage at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine in France.

The Polish cyclist crossed the line 10th after the race had become stretched on the final climb on Sunday.

Targeting a fourth victory in the prestigious race, Team INEOS' Chris Froome was well protected throughout the short, sharp test and looked comfortable as the pace shot up on the Cote de Roquenatou.

In the end the race came back together on the run-in, with a late break reeled in ahead of a sprint finish – won by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).

"Everybody was on it today. We knew, considering the names we had up in the breakaway, that it wouldn't necessarily be a typical day for the sprinters. That was a pretty strong group to chase back," Kwiatkowski said.

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"We did the recon of the final climb yesterday so we knew it was going to be a pretty tough climb, and combined with the weather conditions and slippery roads we knew it could be hectic. So it was about staying out of trouble all day.

"Stannard just kept us in the right place heading on to the last climb. Kiry and everybody were there and we were never really in trouble. We came here to find our legs and we have the motivation to ride well on the GC. That was the main objective today so we’re happy about that," he added.

“Quick-Step went pretty hard on the climb considering there was still a long way to go. It was a brave attack, but you never really know. The guys put us in the right place, directly on the wheel of Alaphilippe. It was a pretty good test after a few weeks off the bike.

"I mainly came here to prepare for the Tour. I suppose there will be some good days and some bad days. But my main objective is to look at what is coming in four weeks, look forward and see what there is up the road.”

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