Kwiatkowski takes the overall lead in a Grand Tour for the first time

A strong fourth place finish on stage two saw Michal Kwiatkowski ride into the race lead at the Vuelta a Espana. The Pole unleashed his fast finish into Baiona to secure a top-five in the sprint, and in the process moved into the red jersey courtesy of stage placings.

“I had the opportunity to get the red jersey and it’s an incredible feeling. It’s one of the nicest starts to a race I’ve ever had – winning the team time trial in a Grand Tour with Team Sky is incredible. I’m really thankful to Pete that he gave me this opportunity to sprint in today’s final, and to go for the bonifications and also the red jersey. Thanks to the team for making it possible.

“Two kilometres before the final he asked me if I wanted to sprint and I accepted. He was up there in the mix and he led me out. We were sure that Chris was safe and he was up there in the front of the group and avoided the crash, so there was no risk that he would lose time.

“We knew that (Jose Joaquin) Rojas could sprint for bonifications on today’s stage and he was one of the guys who could take the red jersey. I was looking at him before the finish but I decided to sprint for it. We didn’t want to give the red jersey away for free, as I think we deserve it after such a ride yesterday.

“Tomorrow we have a pretty hard summit finish. We came here with one goal for this Vuelta a Espana with Chris Froome. Let’s hope we can put him in the right position to gain some time, or certainly not lose time, in the GC.”