Tour of Britain GC battle not over, says Michal Kwiatkowski

Polish rider believes six-man teams make the event difficult to control.

Michal Kwiatkowski says that the Friends Life Tour of Britain is not yet decided despite holding a significant advantage over his main rivals.

The Omega Pharma – Quick Step rider triumphed in Bristol this afternoon after overtaking Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) and Albert Timmer (Giant-Shimano) in sight of the line.

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He claimed an additional ten seconds bonus because of his win, and is now 14 and 27 seconds ahead of GC rivals Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) respectively.

But talk of him being the race favourite does not sit comfortably with him. He said: “It still won’t be easy with the time bonuses and sprints and then the time-trial [in London]. It’s not an easy thing competing with Bradley and it is not an easy race to control.

“We are always aiming for the stage win and if we can stay in the lead of the GC we are aiming for that as well.

“It might have looked like I came from nowhere but we really worked for the win today.”

Sunday’s 8.8km time trial is the biggest threat to Kwiatkowski’s defence of the yellow jersey and he confessed that he isn’t sure of how he will perform around the capital.

“I don’t really know what my time trialling form is like. I can time trial well but this is pretty short and I don’t know if I am ready for that.

“I should be because we at Omega have the team time trial at the World Championships [later this month] which we are preparing for.

“I like short time-trials normally but I don’t know how technical the course is in London. We must look. I like them to be technical.”

Brain Holm, the team’s DS, was similarly cautious: “It’s hard to control because there are some nasty stages to come, especially Saturday. A race like this is hard to predict what will happen.

“Wiggins is the fastest in the time-trial, he should beat Kwia in that. There are still the big favourites left but they better work for it.

“I’m not too sure about beating Wiggins [in the TT] but we will keep it together until London. A win is a win and we always go for a win.”

Tour of Britain 2014 stage four gallery

Images from the fourth stage of the 2014 Tour of Britain, won by Michal Kwiatkowski. Photos by Andy Jones