Froome's key man Kwiatkowski signs new Team Sky contract

The 104th Tour de France cycling race - The 103-km Stage 21 from Montgeron to Paris Champs-Elysees, France - July 23, 2017 - Team Sky riders Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland and yellow jersey Chris Froome of Britain on the finish line. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

LONDON (Reuters) - Michal Kwiatkowski, a vital cog in Chris Froome's Tour de France triumph last month, has signed an extension to his Team Sky contract, the British-based outfit said on Tuesday.

Polish all-rounder Kwiatkowski, the 2014 road world champion, will stay with Sky for at least another three years.

Which is good news, as far as four-times Tour winner Froome is concerned.

"He's obviously had some great wins himself, but to me his performance in the Tour de France epitomised everything about him and what he brings to Team Sky," Froome said in a statement.

"As a rider he is just so versatile and selfless. Whether that's riding at the front on the flat, his understanding of how a race is unfolding, getting his team mates into the right position in the sprints or being last man in be mountains.

"We're lucky to have him."

Kwiatkowski, 27, won this year's Milan-San Remo race and San Sebastian before being one of Froome's trusty lieutenants in the Tour de France -- showing the kind of strength that many believe could make him a Grand Tour winner.

"It's all about being patient and doing things step-by-step," the Pole said. "If I continue to work on my climbing and time trialling, if I can perform well in one-week stage races like Paris-Nice and the Dauphine, and if there are signs that I could perform well in a Grand Tour, then yes, I will take that chance. I think I am in the best place to do that."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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