Volta ao Algarve: Michal Kwiatkowski extends lead with stunning stage three TT win
Michal Kwiatkowski extended his lead of the Volta ao Algarve by winning stage three's time trial.
Last Updated: 21/02/14 5:44pm
The 23-year-old Omega Pharma - Quick-Step rider had given notice of his excellent early-season form by soloing to victory on stage two, but made an even bigger impression 24 hours later with a result that underlines his status as one of cycling's most prodigious young talents.
On a largely flat 13.6km course from Vila do Bispo to Sagres, Kwiatkowski defeated runner-up Adriano Malori (Movistar) by 11 seconds and, most significantly, his third-placed team-mate and three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin by 13 seconds.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was 20 seconds slower than the flying Pole in fourth, while Alex Dowsett (Movistar), the British time trial champion, was 25 seconds back in fifth.
The result means Kwiatkowski stretches his lead of the general classification from four seconds to 32, with Contador jumping into second place ahead of Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), who falls to third, 38 seconds back.
"I had a good rhythm immediately," Kwiatkowski said afterwards. "This morning I performed recon of the stage, and the last part of the stage three times as it was the most technical.
"We worked a lot in the wind tunnel [in the off season]. It was my first TT today and I could feel the difference."
Kwiatkowski will now look to defend the leader's jersey on Saturday's summit finish on Alto do Malhão and then Sunday's race-ending sprint stage into Vilamoura.
He added: "I know the Alto do Malhão pretty well as I have done it twice in my career. Anything can happen. I think Rui Costa and Alberto Contador will try to do something for the GC. I am really looking forward to the challenge in the next stages."
Britain's Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) was 22nd fastest on the stage, 44 seconds slower than his team-mate.
Stage three result
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 14:03
2 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar, +11secs
3 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +13
4 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, +20
5 Alex Dowsett (GB) Movistar, +25
6 Jan Barta (Cze) NetApp-Endura, +28
7 Rick Flens (Ned) Belkin, +29
8 Thomas de Gednt (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +30
9 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, same time
10 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ, +33
22 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +44
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 9:03:36
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo, +32secs
3 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +38
4 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ, +1:00
5 Sergei Chernetskiy (Rus) Katusha, +1:03
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, +1:08
7 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +1:20
8 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, +1:23
9 Chris Horner (USA) Lampre-Merida, +1:24
10 Eduard Prades (Spa) OFM-Quinta da Lixa, +1:25