Michal Kwiatkowski aiming to break Team Sky's Monument duck

New Team Sky recruit says there isn't any pressure on him to bring a Monument win right away, but he will put pressure on himself to win one

Michal Kwiatkowski (Photo: Twitter/@michalkwiatek)

Three Tour de France titles in their first six years isn't a bad return for Team Sky, but the lack of one-day Monument wins on their palmares is notable.

To combat that, Sky and manager Sir Dave Brailsford went out and got the most prized free-agent on the market this winter - former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski.

The Pole starts his season at Challenge Mallorca at the end of January and enters the Volta ao Algarve as a likely team leader before embarking on a run of one-day races. While the Ardennes are a goal, Kwiatkowski will also be racing a cobbled Monument, in the form of the Tour of Flanders.

"My first personal ambitions are the Classics," he told Biciciclismo. "[Going] back to the Amstel Gold race, where I won last year in the rainbow jersey, and Liege [-Bastogne-Liege], where I was third in 2014. Also, I'll be back to Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders."

On winning Sky's first Monument, he said: "There is no pressure in this regard. I don't think they have that expectation [of me] in the first year. My personal ambition for a couple of years, one of my dreams is to win Monuments, so we have the same mentality. I don't feel pressure from outside because that does not help, but [I feel pressure] from myself."

Michal Kwiatkowski wins the 2015 Amstel Gold Race. Photo: Graham Watson

Michal Kwiatkowski wins the 2015 Amstel Gold Race. Photo: Graham Watson

Kwiatkowski isn't sure he will be selected for the Tour de France, where teammate Chris Froome will be defending his title, but the former Etixx-Quick Step rider says he would love to "sacrifice" himself for his leader.

He finished 11th at the Tour de France in his own right in 2013, and was reportedly frustrated at not being allowed to race for his own classification at Etixx at the Tour in subsequent years.

"I think that I can learn a lot from a rider as Chris (Froome)," he added. "It would be wonderful to form part of the team for the Tour, ride by his side."

Adding: "I want to be in the Tour. The team has to sacrifice for their leader to win the Tour, everyone understands that it is the most important race of the season, and there is no place to play your own role."

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