“We did with the team 65 kilometers of Liège – Bastogne – Liège,” Michal Kwiatkowski said of the reconnaissance performed on Friday. “I had a really good feeling on the bike. I feel recovered from the two previous Ardennes races. I’m looking forward to Sunday. I did this already twice, but I couldn’t really be up there. At 30 or 40 kilometers to go I was suffering all the time. But this year, I hope it will be different. I recovered well. I took the right preparation going into the Ardennes Classics and it helps me to be in shape for this race. I felt good today and hopefully I will feel better on Sunday.
“I think the strongest riders have to be there in the front,” Kwiatkowski continued. “You have to always be aware of the situation in the race on Sunday. If you are not there, you can pay for it on the climbs later. If you take it easy on La Redoute and sit on the back at 30th or 40th position, there’s a short descent before the next climb and the game can be over. You have to be present, and also be calm. For a few riders that could be a key moment to attack. As for my main competitors, I just want to focus on how I am feeling first and foremost. I want to just feel good on the bike, then I will say how I can compete with these guys. They know the race, for sure they proved they are in great form. It’s not just Philippe Gilbert and Alejandro Valverde who can win this race. There is also Dan Martin and Joaquim Rodriguez. There are may riders who will be going for this Liège – Bastogne – Liège. There are a lot of strong riders and I am looking forward to the chance to race against them once again. At this race, you can’t really recover between the climbs. So perhaps this is the hardest of the three Ardennes for most riders. I am aware of this and think my preparation to get to this point has been good for me. I think we have a strong team here and that will definitely help me to stay in good position. They’ve really been great supporting me and I think that is important for my morale. I always feel confident in my teammates and am thankful they have done so well for me so far.”
The video announcing the selection can be viewed here: