Kwiatkowski wins E3 Harelbeke race in Belgium
HARELBEKE, Belgium (AP) Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski won the E3 Harelbeke one-day race on Friday ahead of Peter Sagan.
Kwiatkowski and Sagan rode the final 20 kilometers (12 miles) ahead of the pack before Kwiatkowski launched the two-man sprint with less than 300 meters to go and took victory with a comfortable margin.
Sagan, the reigning world champion, was overpowered in the final stretch and settled for second place ahead of Ian Stannard.
''I knew I had really good legs today and I had to go for the win, there was no other option,'' Kwiatkowski said after sealing a second consecutive victory for Team Sky at the E3, following Geraint Thomas' win last year. ''Me and Peter did a really good race. I knew I had to go with a long sprint because his kick is bigger than mine, and that worked out. I didn't look back and went full gas to the finish.''
One-day classics specialist Fabian Cancellara, who had mechanical problems in the race, fought back into contention to end fourth.
Riders observed a minute of silence at the start of the 206-kilometer race in memory of victims of the Brussels airport and metro bombings.
(This story has been corrected to show that Sagan did not come second for the second straight year.)