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"We finish with two Russian riders in the top ten which makes me happy. The whole team worked hard today to protect Viacheslav and Pavel and we succeeded. Pavel moved up in the GC."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




30.07.2014 @ 20:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Katusha proved that their development of young Russian talents is on track when Pavel Kochetkov and Viacheslav Kuznetsov both finished in the top 10 in the Tour de Wallonie. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem prevented teh latter from taking a top result in the final stage.


Viacheslav Kuznetsov and Pavel Kochetkov both finished in the top ten of the 35th Tour de Wallonie. With a 7th and 10th spot, the team can look back with satisfaction. In the last demanding stage to Ans, Kuznetsov finished 9th after bad luck in the sprint but he looks to the near future with optimism.


The last stage from Malmédy to Ans at over 180,6 kilometer was a stage with the identical finale of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Côte de Hornay, La Roche-aux-Faucons, Saint-Nicolas and Côte d'Ans were all on the last kilometers.


Despite attacks of Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol), a select group arrived at the finish where overall winner Gianni Meersman finally won his stage after four second places. Viatcheslav Kuznetsov finished 9th in that sprint.


"I was really ready for my sprint. I felt super good," Kuznetsov said. "The last three kilometers I felt that this could be my day. In the end it became an unlucky day for me as at 200 meters from the finish I made a bad shift and I had to sit back, so I lost some places. It was a miracle that I still finished in the front.


"Okay bad luck, but I am now highly motivated for the near future. In ten days I will start in the Eneco Tour. It would even be nicer to win my first race in a ProTour race."


"Also big hats off to Pavel Kochetkov again. We finish with two Russian riders in the top ten which makes me happy. The whole team worked hard today to protect Viacheslav and Pavel and we succeeded. Pavel moved up in the GC. I am happy and very satisfied with our guys," said team director Gennady Mikhaylov.



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