Michal Kwiatkowski had suffered with more than nasty road rash since he crashed at Trofeo Laigueglia at the start of this month, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider discovering he'd tackled a block of racing with a broken rib.
Just three days after the crash with Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck QuickStep) at the 1.Pro race the 2014 world champion lined up to race the gravel roads of Strade Bianche. He didn’t finish but then soon lined up for the week long Tirreno-Adriatico before taking to the start line of the first Monument of the season, the 299 kilometre Milan-San Remo.
However, Kwiatkowski had mentioned on social media that it hasn’t been easy racing with healing wounds, and with good reason.
“As it turned out today, I have a fractured rib,” said the Polish rider on Twitter. “It hasn't been an easy Italian campaign since the crash in Laiguelia, physically and mentally on the same time. ‘Rest to be the best’ mode ON.”
The 30-year-old was enjoying a strong start to the season, before the crash having started with a second overall at the Étoile de Bessèges last month before the crash at his second event of 2021.
Kwiatkowski’s best result since was at Milan-San Remo, with the 2014 and 2017 winner coming 17th while teammate Tom Pidcock came 15th, but he was clearly hoping for more given the amount of work his squad had done.
Ineos Grenadiers had the numbers as the race unfolded in the last hour. Luke Rowe set a blistering pace on the Cipressa and on the run towards the Poggio, while on the final key ascent of the race, it was Filippo Ganna who set a fast tempo for the majority of the climb. Kwiatkowski said he wanted to finish it off but was "unable to perform at his level".
Kwiatkowski isn’t the only rider Ineos Grenadiers has had out with injury lately either, with Richie Porte out of Paris Nice after a crash on his very first day of racing in Europe for 2021. Then on stage 4 of the eight-stage event Tao Geoghegan Hart crashed on a descent, initially trying to continue on but then abandoning the race and heading to hospital as he hit his head in the fall.
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