Kwiatkowski dusts Sagan in Strade Bianche.

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Who drops Peter Sagan like that? Like the Fastvakian was a cat 2 guy thrown into a pro race and was just glad to be in the final two man break in Strade Bianche.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) played his moves to perfection, with Sagan up front, perhaps momentarily distracted by his ongoing contract discussions.

When Kwiatkowski hit Sagan from behind and burst up the right side on the steepest pitch up into Sienna, Sagan didn’t even bother to chase. Nothing left in the tank. In that flash, he knew it game over, second again in Strade Bianche.

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it was like Sagan had already discovered the exact same thing about Kwiatkowski that two-time winner Fabian Cancellara had found out: “Riders know when another rider’s is on a great day, we can see it. He was pedaling really easy and his team was strong too. He was the only one to get across to Peter and then dropped him.”

Dropped him was putting it mildly. Sagan scares people with his ability to sprint and handle all but the most daunting Grand Tour climbs. Yet the overall winner of this season’s  Volta ao Algarve simply destroyed Sagan.

New rumor: Sagan not signing with Omega Pharma-Quickstep where he would have to play second fiddle to the rising Polish star.

For his part, the Cannondale rider recognized that he was missing something.  “You win and you lose. It happened to me today. No, I have not had any mechanical problem — just in the end I had no legs.” It takes quite a strong rider to make Sagan feel like he has no legs anymore.

Sagan was even beginning to slow on the 16% grade up to Sienna — a weakness that Kwiatkowski was quick to exploit. “I went full gas until the end and that’s how it was won,” he said. “When I came around the final corner to the finish line in Piazza del Campo, it was absolutely beautiful.”

It seems apparent that Kwiatkowski is not only a huge talent but a smart tactician. He had his eye on Sagan and more importantly, on Sagan’s bike. “I know Sagan has much more experience on a final like that in the big races. I was watching even the chainring he was using to make sure I didn’t make any stupid mistakes.”

Nope, no stupidity here. Chapeau to Michal Kwiatkowski and an Omega Pharma-Quickstep squad that has been firing on all cylinders since the Tours of San Luis and Qatar.

 

 

 

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