Team hoping to understand poor Dauphiné performance
Omega Pharma-QuickStep are to send Michal Kwiatkowski for tests this week, in an attempt to get to the bottom of his poor performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Kwiatkowski was a non-starter for the Dauphiné’s Queen stage from Ville-La-Grand to Finaut-Émosson, along with a handful of other riders. The Polish rider was already more than 10 minutes down in the general classification.
“We are not too worried for the time being, but we want to rule out that he has a virus,” team manager Patrick Lefevere told Sporza. “We just want to make sure that there is nothing lurking in his blood before we travel to Leeds for the Tour start.”
Kwiatkowski is set to be Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s main general classification contender at the Tour de France in July. He finished 11th overall and third in the white jersey competition in last year’s race, less than a minute behind fellow young rider Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp). Kwiatkowski wore the jersey for 10 days, but fell ill during the final week. He remains one of the favourites for the competition this season.
The 24-year-old had a fantastic start to the year, winning the Strade Bianche and taking a podium at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He took a surprise victory in the Tour de Romandie prologue but his early season efforts took their toll and he abandoned after three stages. Despite this, Lefevere isn’t panicking just yet.
“There is little to worry about,” he says. “He’s just a little bit over-tired after a very busy spring. After altitude training, it is hard to find rhythm again.”
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