The 24-year-old jumped clear with seven kilometres to go of the 254.8km race and despite a late chase, he was able to hold off Simon Gerrans (Australia) and Alejandro Valverde (Spain) by one second with the duo taking silver and bronze respectively.
The Polish team was seen seen setting the tempo on the front of the peloton during the early laps as a four-man break built a lead that ballooned out to 15 minutes but they never threatened to steal a famous win.
The race came alive once the break was reeled in and a larger group that included Giovanni Visconti (Italy), Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain), Tim Wellens (Belgium) went clear with three-and-a-half laps to go, forcing the French and Australians into chasing.
As the bell was rung, a four man group of Alessandro De Marchi (Italy), Cyril Gautier (France), Valgren Andersen (Denmark) and Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) started the final lap with a small advantage over the reduced peloton. Kwiatkowski made his first move before the final climb of the race to catch and then pass the break.
Just before the final summit of the Mirador, the reaction from the peloton finally came with Valverde, Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert (Belgium), Matti Breschel (Denmark) ,Tony Gallopin (France), Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) going clear. Despite Gilbert's efforts in the final kilometres the chase were not able to claw back Kwiatkowski's slender lead, with the first ever Polish winner of the event enjoying enough of a gap to sail over the line and celebrate the win with his arms in the air.
Watch the highlights of Kwiatkowski's win and don't forget to subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel