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"First with Smukulis in the day-long break of three riders; then with Lagutin and in the end also Isaychev took his chance. It is good to see that they kept trying."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

GATIS SMUKULIS

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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SERGEY LAGUTIN

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VLADIMIR ISAICHEV

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04.03.2015 @ 20:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Team Katusha saw plenty of racing action in the 46th Le Samyn race on Wednesday (1.1 UCI, Belgium). Gatis Smukulis, Sergey Lagutin and Vladimir Isaychev all put themselves in strategic positions throughout the 201 km one-day semi-classic race on the famed cobbled roads of Belgium.

 

"Indeed, we did not have our sprinters in the roster in this race. But I’m very happy with the mentality of the group that we had here. In the end we have no result, but at least we tried a lot. First with Smukulis in the day-long break of three riders; then with Lagutin and in the end also Isaychev took his chance. It is good to see that they kept trying," said team sports director Gennady Mikhaylov.

 

The final selection came on the last cobbled section with only three teams represented in the front. Eight men headed for the finish line with Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) able to out-kick Gianni Meersman (Etixx – Quick Step) and Christophe Laporte of Cofidis.

 

The course included a large loop of 100 km away from Quaregnon before four local laps at 24,6 km each to finish in Dour. Earlier rain left standing water and mud on the cobbled sectors, but it was the wind that contributed most to making the day difficult. Gatis Smukulis was part of the original break of three riders that stayed clear until the closing circuits. Next Sergey Lagutin tried his luck in a small break of seven near the 15 km to go mark before Vladimir Isaychev took off with another rider at 6 km to go. The slight pitch of the final cobbled sector split off the group of eight riders that ran to the line with Boeckmans able to earn the win.

 

Finally, the best Katusha’s rider became Anton Vorobyev, who finished 24th.

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