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Kwiatkowski leads new generation of Polish cyclists

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 08.07.2013 09:18
Michal Kwiatkowski came third in the ninth stage at the Tour de France, Sunday, and is currently second in the 'best young rider'' white jersey competition.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step procycling team rider Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland (R) and Omega Pharma-Quick Step procycling team rider Mark Cavendish of Britain (L) in action during the 7th stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France 2013 cycling race between Montpellier and Albi: photo - EPA/YOAN VALAT

Kwiatkowski - who won the Polish National Road Racing Championships in June – took the white jersey after the 2nd stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France which began on 29 June but lost it to Moviestar's Nairo Quintana on Saturday.

Kwiatkowski bounced back on Sunday, however, finishing on the podium, 20 seconds behind winner Dan Martin but in the group with all the top riders in the general classification, including Britain's Chris Froome – who currently holds the yellow jersey - in Bagneres-de-Bigorre in the Pyrenees.

The Polish Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider tweeted after the stage on Sunday: “Have to say thank you to my #OPQS boys. They push me to the limits when I was in trouble! Amazing”.

Kwiatkowski, a former world junior time trialist, has had an excellent 2013 season so far, coming second overall in the Volta ao Algarve, fourth in the Tirreno-Adriatico, where he won the young rider classification, fourth in the Amstel Gold Race and fifth in La Flèche Wallonne.

The Pole, still some years from his peak as a cyclist, is currently 13th in the general classification at the Tour de France.

“Michal is still young,” Czeslaw Lang, head of the Polish cycling association and winner of the road race silver medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, told the TVN 24 news station last week.

“This is his first start at the Tour [de France]. Before leaving, he said he was going there to learn but in the meantime has been one of the biggest stars of the race,” he said,

Monday is a rest day at the three-week grand tour.

Kwiatkowski's emergence as a tour contender comes after 24 year-old Saxo-Tinkoff rider Rafał Majka came an impressive seventh overall in the Giro d'Italia this May. (pg)

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