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“When the escapees were caught, another race began, and RusVelo showed itself as a closely-knit team with a leader who sniffs his chance well. Sergey Lagutin is no sprinter by trade and we shouldn’t underestimate his third place...

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM






08.06.2014 @ 11:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

24 hours after he sprinted to second place in the tough uphill finish on stage 2, Sergey Lagutin (Rusvelo) was again close to a big victory when he finished third in yesterday’s queen stage of the Tour de Luxembourg. Even though the win has so far eluded him, his strong riding proves that the former Vacansoleil rider is still able to challenge the best despite having stepped down to pro continental level.


RusVelo rider Sergey Lagutin showed his good form once again in stage three of 2.HC Skoda Tour de Luxembourg, coming in third. The 205.8 km-long race set between Eschweiler and Differdange had a very undulating profile with no less than eight categorized climbs.


The RusVelo team rode actively from the off, sending Ivan Balykin into a long-lasting breakaway of four. The escapees gained a maximum gap of 4.30 before being chased down by the peloton. The three final laps featuring a steep climb were more than enough to produce the ultimate selection.


Home favorite Frank Schleck tried to ride away a couple of times, but he was closely marked by the bunch; then a final attack of five riders, including Sergey Lagutin, was laucnhed they succeeded in staying clear to the line. Matti Breschel (Tinkoff-Saxo) won a small bunch sprint for the second day in a row, ahead of the Frenchman Rudy Mollard (Cofidis) and Lagutin.


RusVelo DS Sergey Ivanov, no stranger to these roads as a rider, said:


“The race went just as planned, I knew what to expect of this course, and it was easier for us to determine our line of actions in advance. It was an extremely hard day, not just for the ups and downs but also because of the 30-degrees heat – it turned out to be a problem for many of the guys to adapt to it after a number of days spent in rain and cold. It’s about mind over matter actually, and our riders are in the right frame of mind these days.


“Ivan Balykin did a great job in the breakaway; it’s a pity that there were just four of them and no more strong riders bridged across, otherwise the escape could have lasted till the end, and Ivan would have a good chance with his sprinting skills.


“When the escapees were caught, another race began, and RusVelo showed itself as a closely-knit team with a leader who sniffs his chance well. Sergey Lagutin is no sprinter by trade and we shouldn’t underestimate his third place.


“Now we’ve got one more day left to try and break through to the final standings podium, five seconds is a realistic gap to close”.



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