Kruopis sprint denies Swift
Kwiatkowski assumes race lead
Last Updated: 13/07/12 4:05pm
Aidis Kruopis: Continued his progression in the sprints with another win
Aidis Kruopis sprinted to victory on stage four at the Tour de Pologne in a close finish into Katowice.
The Lithuanian (Orica-GreenEDGE) pulled out from the wheel of Ben Swift (Team Sky) to edge past the Brit on the line.
Stage two winner Swift was brought to the head of the pack inside the final kilometre as British national champion Ian Stannard put the power down before Mathew Hayman completed the lead-out.
Kruopis was able to just nip past along the barrier to win by just over half a bike-length on the line while Theo Bos (Rabobank) rounded out the podium.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) inherited a slender two-second race lead on the day after overhauling Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale), the yellow jersey holder since the start of the race, by winning the first intermediate sprint.
Swift still made the end-of-stage podium courtesy of a three-point lead in the red and white points jersey standings.
“I’m disappointed to not win after the team did such a fantastic job,” said Swift after the stage.
“[Kruopis] is a very good rider. He did a brave move coming up very close to the barrier. I saw him on the inside and I wanted to close the gap but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do.
“We still have the last sprint stage in Krakow so we’ll look forward to that one.”
Earlier in the stage Kwiatkowski had signalled his intent in his home race, taking three valuable bonus seconds at the sprint prime.
After that the race settled into a more conventional rhythm, a four-man break heading clear despite the seemingly inevitable bunch sprint.
Team Sky hit the front in the closing stages, lining out the bunch before dropping back, driving again through Stannard as a couple of late escape attempts were shut down and Kruopis took the spoils.