The Ineos Grenadiers one-day specialist was one of the strongest riders to emerge as the first Monument of the season hit the Poggio on Saturday (March 20), with Kwiatkowski battling his way to a top-20 finish on the Via Roma.
But a day after the race, Kwiatkowski said on social media that he had just been diagnosed with a fractured rib, suffered during a crash in an earlier Italian one-day race in March.
The former world champion said: “As it turned out today, I have a fractured rib.
“It hasn’t been an easy Italian campaign since the crash in Laiguelia, physically and mentally at the same time.”
Kwiatkowski crashed in the Trofeo Laigueglia on March 3, the first of his Italian block of races, posting a picture of his road rash the day after the fall.
The Polish rider then pulled out of Strade Bianche a few days later mid-race, but was able to ride through Tirreno-Adriatico as he continued his preparation for the Classics.
Then in Milan-San Remo, Kwiatkowski and Tom Pidcock were the two strongest riders for Ineos Grenadiers in the final, after their team-mate Filippo Ganna set a blistering pace on the Poggio.
But as Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) escaped the front group to take victory in the Italian Monument, Pidcock and Kwiatkowski were left behind to finish in 15th and 17th respectively.
Speaking after the stage Pidcock, riding his first Milan-San Remo, said: “The team rode so well for me and Kwiato and I was able to follow on the Poggio. Then I thought I’d try a little attack on the descent to see if they’d give me a gap but I didn’t really know where I was going! So that didn’t really work so well. I was a bit too far forward going into the final and the line came up on me fast, but overall I’m happy. It’s a good result to take into the cobbled Classics.”
Kwiatkowski, 30, is next scheduled to race in Dwars door Vlaanderen on March 31, although he may opt to skip the race to recover for his targets later in the season.