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Kwiatkowski lays down Tour of Flanders marker with E3 Harelbeke victory

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Peter Sagan and Michal Kwiatkowski exchange glances on the E3 Harelbeke podium

Peter Sagan and Michal Kwiatkowski exchange glances on the E3 Harelbeke podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) wins the 2016 E3 Harelbeke

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) wins the 2016 E3 Harelbeke
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski checks out the hardware on the E3 Harelbeke podium

Michal Kwiatkowski checks out the hardware on the E3 Harelbeke podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan finished second behind Michal Kwiatkowski in E3 Harelbeke

Peter Sagan finished second behind Michal Kwiatkowski in E3 Harelbeke
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski and Peter Sagan escaped the lead group with about 30km to go at E3 Harelbeke.

Michal Kwiatkowski and Peter Sagan escaped the lead group with about 30km to go at E3 Harelbeke.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was quicker than Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) in the two-up sprint at the end of E3 Harelbeke, but in truth, it was the nimbleness of his thinking more than the speed of his legs that proved the difference in the final reckoning.

Having carefully marshalled Sagan onto the front in the final kilometre as an elite chasing group bore down upon them, Kwiatkowski proceeded to outmanoeuvre the Slovak in the finishing straight by opening his sprint from distance.

“I surprised him: he didn't expect such a long attack and that I could hold it,” Kwiatkowski said. “When I launched at 300 metres to go, I think that he had expected I'd wait for his move, but I did it on purpose.”

 

“I know the feeling of Peter, I know how it is to wear the world champion jersey as well. It’s very difficult,” he said generously. “I think both of us did a really good race.”

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