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“It was our plan to go full gas with Luca (Paolini) on the climb. I was a little bit behind at that point, but with 3 km to go I felt good power in my legs and went to the front," Gusev says

Photo: Sirotti








20.05.2014 @ 19:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With Joaquim Rodriguez out of the race, Katusha are now seeking stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and for the first time in the race, Luca Paolini wanted to test himself in the final sprint. Unfortunately, he was helf up behind the late crash and instead his teammate Vladimir Gusev sprinted to sixth.


Team Katusha’s Vladimir Gusev suffered several crashes earlier in the 2014 Giro d’Italia, but today’s small uphill near the finish was perfect for him. ‘Goose’ put himself in a good position for the finale, going for the sprint and ending up sixth on the stage. 


“It was our plan to go full gas with Luca (Paolini) on the climb," he said. "I was a little bit behind at that point, but with 3 km to go I felt good power in my legs and went to the front.


"For the finish line I missed the sprint by starting too late. But I had painful crashes earlier in this Giro and we’ve all been so disappointed to lose three of our guys. So a day like today gives us back some confidence. I am feeling better and better. We will keep trying to get a stage win. We are motivated.”


The speeds were ramped high on the technical run-in with many tight turns before the finish line. Gusev was positioned well in second place, but when the sprint opened up he missed just a little timing to make it work. The stage win went to Nacer Bouhanni ( after four hours of racing. Second place went to Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and third to former maglia rosa Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge.


Stage 10 at 173 km began in Modena and ended in Salsomaggiore Terme. The stage was flat until the last few kilometers and featured a two-rider breakaway that was swept up with less than 10 km to go.  Race leader Cadel Evans put his team on the front and was aided by Sky and Trek to set a blistering pace on the climb and distance many of the pure sprinters. Team Katusha’s Luca Paolini was part of the action, positioning himself near the front to keep the pace high. But a crash near the 700 m to go banner held up the Italian rider and left Gusev in the front to fight for glory. 


There was no change in the general classification with Cadel Evans still in the race lead by 57-seconds to Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and 1:10 to Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo).


Wednesday’s stage is a long one at 249 km. Beginning in Collecchio and ending in Savona, it could be a day for a successful breakaway.



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