Michal Kwiatkowski moves into lead of Tour de San Luis after strong time trial
Last Updated: 25/01/13 9:43am
Michal Kwiatkowski: Moved into overall lead of the race
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step's Michal Kwiatkowski moved into the overall lead of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina after a superb third-place finish in the stage-four time trial.
The 22-year-old Pole, who is in his second season with the Belgian team, stopped the clock on the 19km course in 22 minutes 25 seconds and now has a 23-second advantage at the top of the general classification.
The stage winner was Canada's Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) in 22min 14sec, seven seconds ahead of Argentine Leandro Messineo (San Luis Somos Todos) in second.
Tuft said: "The wind was a bit difficult going out, and the downhill sections were super fast. It's definitely a course made for me.
"I pushed hard and recovered where I could with the momentum I had already built. I think that really paid off for me. There are strong guys here and I had to give it everything I had."
The route was an out-and-back course in San Luis that climbed for the first half, before descending all the way back to the line.
The United States' Tejay van Garderen (BMC) climbed up into second overall by finishing the stage seventh, 33 seconds behind Tuft, but overnight leader Alex Diniz struggled and has fallen down the standings to fourth.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) fared the best of the pre-race favourites, finishing the day fourth in 22min 28sec, while Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) climbed to sixth in the GC after crossing the line 57 seconds down on Tuft.
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had another day to forget, haemorrhaging 1min 42sec as he slumped to 11min 7sec off the overall lead.
Kwiatkowski said: "Tejay van Garderen will be, for sure, the guy who will try to go for the GC in the next days.
"I didn't see the GC results, so it's hard to say who else is a contender at the moment. Contador and Nibali are great champions, so maybe they will try to win the stage tomorrow or attack for the GC."
The race returns to the road on Friday for a 170km stage from Juana Koslay to Carolina, including an ascent of the category-one Cerro el Amago.
1 Svein Tuft (Can) Orica-GreenEDGE, 22:14
2 Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +7secs
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +11
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +14
5 Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +19
6 Jorge Giacinti (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +26
7 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC, +33
8 Eloy Teruel (Spa) Movistar, +34
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), +47
10 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, +52
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, 12:30:37
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC, +23
3 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, +42
4 Alex Diniz (Bra) Funvic Brasilinvest, +45
5 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, +54
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff, +1:10
7 Ricardo Diaz (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +1:12
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +1:12
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +1:24
10 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar, +1:24