Luke Rowe Column: Why Michal Kwiatkowski was the Tour's man of the match

Luke Rowe praises Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski for his performance during the 2017 Tour de France

Luke Rowe rides for Team Sky, and has just finished the 2017 Tour de France where he rode in support of overall winner Chris Froome. Luke writes for Cycling Weekly every week

I’ve been back in Cardiff since the Tour de France ended a couple of weeks ago. It’s been nice to spend some time with my wife, friends and family doing all sorts but not much bike riding. I took six days completely off; I’m still kind of feeling the effects of that crash during the Tour so needed a little bit of time of total recovery, we call it, where you don’t even look at a bike.

I got Zwift [virtual turbo trainer game] installed this week. They came and fitted a system for me to use so I’ve been riding with G [Geraint Thomas] and my brother so I’m getting into it! It’s a bit of fun. I don’t like riding it for a long time but do enjoy it, so one day I did two 50-minute sessions.

It’s a lot more entertaining than a turbo — people say turbo is a great option if it’s raining but I’d rather go out and get wet; I hate it. We’ll see how I go with this, but generally it’s been good to ride and do what I want, when I want, on the bike.

I’m going out with my wife for a ride this week and it’s nice to ride at whatever speed you want and just relax.

Back to the Tour, and I think this year’s race was a lot more tactical in the sense that you needed to take strength in numbers to do well. People can have stronger teams but essentially you’ve got to have the best leader.

You can have the strongest team in the world but if you don’t have the best leader to back it up it’s no good at all. I think at Sky we had the strongest team and undoubtedly the strongest leader.

>>> Luke Rowe column: Chris Froome eats, sleeps and breathes the Tour de France

A lot of people were saying prior to the race they weren’t sure about our team compared to previous years but we laid all those doubts to rest. For me the man of the match was Michał Kwiatkowski. Whatever the road: uphill, downhill or flat, he was there. He’s just been absolutely incredible.

We lost Geraint [Thomas, on stage nine to a crash] and someone had to step up and I think he’s the man who did. What can you say about him? Even off the bike he’s great to have around, a great character, he reads a race fantastically. It was a pleasure to ride alongside him.

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