Kwiatkowski lays down Tour of Flanders marker with E3 Harelbeke victory

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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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.