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"We had a stage without big stress today. The main thing was to control the situation and to protect Iurii Trofimov as well as to have in front Sergei and Simon too. Everything went good, so we saved our position," Azevedo says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele










08.04.2014 @ 19:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With no sprinter in the team, it was a day of survival for Katusha at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. The team managed to keep its options open as Yury Trofimov, Simon Spilak and Sergei Chernetskii all finished in the peloton.


The 54th Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco eased off the pace Tuesday after the opening stages hard day of climbs. While not easy by any means, the 155,8 km stage from Ordizia to Dantxarinea saw a group of some 50 riders come to the line all together at 30-seconds behind solo winner Tony Martin.


Katusha Team had three riders in the group with Sergei Chernetckii, Iuri Trofimov and Simon Špilak.


"We had a stage without big stress today. The main thing was to control the situation and to protect Iurii Trofimov as well as to have in front Sergei and Simon too. Everything went good, so we saved our position. All the main things are still to come," said head sports director José Azevedo.


Martin was part of an original break of seven riders who went clear in the first 20 km of racing.  Teams with stage interests came forward to work and the gap quickly plummeted, setting up Martin to attack his breakaway companions, initially taking teammate Jan Bakelandts and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) with him. The time trial specialist soon went solo with less than 11 km to go and took his first of the 2014 cycling season.


The top three was rounded out with Ben Swift (Sky) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuicStep), both at 30-seconds. Katusha Team had three riders in the same leading group: Sergei Chernetckii finished 12th, Iurii Trofimov was 27th and Simon Špilak did 42nd.


In general classification Alberto Contador is still the overall leader. Iurii Trofimov is 8th with +0.36, Sergei Chernetckii is 17th with +0.58.

Unfortunately, due to the illness Egor Silin was forced to abandon during yesterday stage.


Wednesday’s stage is the longest of the week at 194,5 km.  It begins in Urdazubi and ends in Gasteiz and features four rated climbs.



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