After taking third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Michael Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) was not completely satisfied with the way he had raced in La Doyenne. The Polish rider felt he had the power to follow anyone but was badly placed at the point when Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) charged away.
"It would be nice to sit on Alejandro's wheel, or Dan Martin's but in that moment I was too far back for sure," Kwiatkowski told reporters afterwards. "I was thinking I had legs enough to jump on anyone's wheel because I felt pretty comfortable. On the Cote de Saint-Nicolas where I was also too far back, I thought I had everything under control."
It looked from the outside that there was little going on in the bunch for much of the latter part of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but Kwiatkowski said the speed was so quick it made it very tricky for later moves to stick, let alone be launched.
"The pace of the bunch was so high – it looks like we took it easy but everybody was struggling and we actually took control as we came into Bastogne, we were trying to help Movistar control the breakaway.
"Later when we hit the 100km to go mark actually it was up to other teams who were attacking like Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott), [when it was a] 10 minute's advantage to the breakaway. They were trying to make the race harder and we were trying to adapt to that, and at the same time have a number of guys on Redoute or Cote de la Roche-aux-Faucons.
"These were the key moments for us and we were not really trying to attack for nothing."
Kwiatkowski, already a winner in the first spring Monument of the season at Milan-San Remo insisted that he was fine with his result, out-sprinting the remainder of a group of five chasers behind Valverde and Martin for third. "At the end of the day, I'm really happy that I finished on the podium because it's been a pretty long spring."
Kwiatkowski will now take a long break in Poland, which he has not visited since Christmas, and then return for the Criterium du Dauphine and, he hopes, the Tour de France.
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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