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"Because of the course, many riders were tired, but I still felt okay. My legs felt good and I got nice support from my teammates. They believed in me. Today I was really brought into perfect position for the finish."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele


30.07.2014 @ 00:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Viacheslav Kuznetsov may not be known as a sprinter but at the end of a hard race he has a decent turn of speed. Today he proved his skills when he finished third in the fourth stage of the Tour de Wallonie.


Viacheslav Kuznetov took a nice third place in the 4th stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Kuznetsov finished behind stage winner Tom Van Asbroeck (Topsport Vlaanderen) and yellow jersey Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step).


The fourth mass sprint in four days came after a hard 175 kilometer stage from Herve to Waremmeover included eleven categorized Ardennes climbs. The course suited Kuznetsov very well.


"Because of the course, many riders were tired, but I still felt okay," he said. "My legs felt good and I got nice support from my teammates. They believed in me. Today I was really brought into perfect position for the finish.


"In the finale I was still in the main group together with Pavel Kochetkov and Mikhail Ignatiev. Kochetkov was just brought back by the peloton after his attack on the Mur de Amay but he was still able to help me and then Mikhail Ignatiev guided me to the last corner.


"At 600 meters from the finish I was in third position behind two Lotto-Belisol riders, but one of them lost his pedal. That was for me the sign to start my sprint. I went full gas. In the end two other guys came over me but I can be happy. This gives motivation for the future.


"I would have preferred to win, but that's racing. Third is not bad. My teammates helped me to position myself. I wasn't fast enough tow in.. It was a tough stage with many climbs. But Omega Pharma - Quick.Step did not ride too fast. They set a steady tempo in the bunch. They really wanted it to be asprint. 


"Naturally, it would have been better to finish first but today I was third. Tomorrow I'll try to do better. I will try to win, either from a breakaway or in a sprint. I appreciate the small hills, they suit me well."


"The whole team was good today," said team director Gennady Mikhaylov. "Mikhail Ignatiev attacked at 35 kilometers from the end, but could not stay in the front against the chasing peloton.


"Later on the Mur de Amay Pavel Kochetkov saw his chance. He attacked, took Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Belisol) and Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ) with him and they were only caught with just ten kilometers to go. It was very impressive what Pavel did. And finally, Viacheslav managed to get a nice podium place."


Tomorrow is the final and decisive stage – 184 km from Malmedy to Ans with a few famous climbs of the Liège – Bastogne – Liège.



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