Michal Kwiatkowski expressed his gratitude to his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mate, Tony Martin, for his selfless assistance at the Tour de France yesterday. Following his solo victory the day before, Martin did not contest the intermediate primes in the mountainous 161 km run to La Planche des Belles Filles but instead, protected Kwiatkowski. The Polish rider stayed glued second wheel in a break, which Martin controlled for a lengthy time.
The Polish rider compared the German’s performance to a time trial. Later on the day, Kwiatkowski referred to martin as incredible and noted that it was his first such experience. Their team had virtually no assistance from fellow escapees. The Polish rider was fourth overall and four minutes behind Tony Gallopin at the beginning of the 10th stage. After parting from Martin, Joaquim Rodriguez followed him closely, but faded in the finale, thereby dropping to 13th overall in the standings. Kwiatkowski also opined that the break provided some relief to the riders but lamented that no one supported him. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team was prominent within the first phase of the Tour with two individual victories, despite the loss of Mark Cavendish, who crashed out in the first stage.