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"On the final climb we gave 100% we had because we knew Westra was close but at the finish we missed just a little," Trofimov says

Photo: A.S.O

CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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YURY TROFIMOV

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14.06.2014 @ 22:23 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

All was set for a third stage win for Katusha in the Criterium du Dauphiné when Yury Trofimov and Egor Silin were team time trialling their way to the top of the final climb in the queen stage. 200m from the line, they were passed by Lieuwe Westra and the pair was left hugely disappointed after the near-miss.

 

It was more success for Team Katusha on the 161,5 km Queen stage in the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné with team riders Iurii Trofimov and Egor Silin leading the way on the final climb and taking second and third on the stage.

 

"On the final climb we gave 100% we had because we knew Westra was close but at the finish we missed just a little," Trofimov said. "When we went in the break together we decided to try the team’s strategy, we spoke with each other and attacked one by one. Finally I managed to go solo, while on the descent I’ve received information that Egor was just behind me. So I waited for him to attack the final climb together.

 

"The stage was very tough and the final climb was very hard. But it’s good that I can test my form here at the Dauphiné and show great determination in every stage."

 

"I am a little bit disappointed because the victory was so close but we did all that we could," Silin said. "I felt quite good during the stage, much better than two days ago when I was in the breakaway with Simon Špilak. I feel I’m progressing every day. 

 

"Before Dauphiné I was at home in Russia, so it was hard to climb an HC category. So this was a good test for me in real racing conditions. And I’m happy with it.

 

"On the penultimate climb when Iurii went away, nobody could follow him. When I saw how far he’d gone, I decided to try myself too. It worked.

 

"Before the final climb I joined him and we started to work together. In the final we missed by the slimmest margin. But tomorrow we will have one more mountain stage, and we will try again."

 

"Our team did a very good, solid race," sports director Dmitri Konyshev said. "Iurii and Egor were great today and realized a perfect strategy: they attacked in the right moment, worked well together, and protected their lead as long as they could. But on the final climb Westra was better and at the finish he was able to catch our guys and to pass them.

 

"Here in Dauphiné Iurii and Egor are just looking for the shape they will need for the Tour de France. Today was a perfect test for both. They rode 100% for their current condition. Of course, every time you miss the victory right before the finish, it’s a pity. They deserved this win, but that’s cycling.

 

"Today Westra was stronger and all we can so is just congratulate him. Tomorrow we will have one more hard day in mountains and Katusha will try to show itself again."

 

Both riders put themselves in the break of the day along with 12 other riders. At 25 km to go Iurii Trofimov attacked the group as he headed up the HC Col de la Forclaz. He was eventually joined by teammate Egor Silin as the Russian riders took on the 10,2 km, 8.2% HC Finaut-Émosson together. It was only in the closing kilometer that they were caught by a determined Lieuwe Westra of Astana who took the stage win after a narrow miss on stage 6. Trofimov was second at 7-seconds and Silin was third at 16-seconds behind Westra.

 

It took awhile for the GC fireworks to get started with Sky setting the pace up the final two climbs and no real action from any of the challengers. But needing only 12-seconds to take the lead, Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador patiently waited until the final 2 kilometers to launch his attack. Christopher Froome finally responded but by the time he tried to close the gap, it was too late and Contador gained enough time to take over the lead by 8 seconds to Froome. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) moved into third place at 39-seconds.

 

Only one stage remains in this tune-up race for July’s Tour de France but the final stage is not an easy ride. At 132 km the stage begins in Megève, includes 3-rated climbs before bringing the race to a conclusion on the cat-1 Courchevel le Praz.

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