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Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider aiming for double
After having a question mark over his form following a relatively poor performance in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Michał Kwiatkowski seems to be regaining his speed, and won the Polish national championship time trial today with a 49.4kph average speed for the 40km course in Zawonia.
"It's the first time I won the Polish National TT Championship. So, it's a really nice addition to my palmarès," Kwiatkowski said. "It's special to do well representing your country. It also gives me a good boost of motivation prior to the Tour de France.
"From Tour de Romandie until this ITT I didn't have the best perception of how my preparation was going for the Tour de France. But now I know I am going in the right direction."
Kwiatkowski reversed his fortunes from last year, topping defending champion Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale), who beat him by five seconds last year, by 27 seconds, with Mateusz Taciak (CCC Polsat) in third.
"I'm really happy about this victory," Kwiatkowski said. "The parcours was quite simple. It wasn't really technical, it was just about pushing the really big gear, so I used a 58x11.
"The parcours was really fast, but I have to say also I was feeling good since the beginning. The weather was a factor. It was not ideal, as it was raining and the temperature was around 15 degrees (Celsius). But OK, I found my tempo immediately. I was able to balance my effort perfectly along the parcours."
Kwiatkowski will now defend his road title on Sunday. "Of course, it won't be easy. The parcours is the same as last year. Michal Golas and I are prepared to try our best to defend my jersey and do well on a parcours that is normally for strong guys."
The last Polish rider to win both the time trial and road race in the same year was Tomasz Marczynski when riding for CCC Polsat Polkowice in 2011.