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"I felt that he came back from the back but I resisted to the line. Now, I'll help my teammates to for the overall. And in the longer term, I hope to continue my progress and get a WorldTour victory."

Photo: Sirotti


17.08.2016 @ 23:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Roman Maikin (Gazprom-Rusvelo) confirmed that he has the potential to be a future contender in uphill sprint by claiming the biggest win of his career on stage 2 of the Tour du Limousin. In a close photo finish, the Russian talent narrowly held off Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) while Francesco Gavazzi (Androni) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) made it three Italian puncherus in the top 4. Joey Rosskopf (BMC) rode aggressively in the finale and retained the lead on the eve of the queen stage.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Roman Maikin: Now I want to win on the WorldTour

"On Tuesday, I suffered from the heat but especially a puncture in the last 20 kilometers, Roman Maikin told Directvelo. “Since I was almost ten minutes behind overall, I had to aim for a stage victory. I had very good legs despite the heat. Just before the red kite, I attacked with Giovanni Visconti. We got along well and then I launched the sprint from far out. I felt that he came back from the back but I resisted to the line. Now, I'll help my teammates to for the overall. And in the longer term, I hope to continue my progress and get a WorldTour victory.


"This is my second win of the season and this is very important for me and for the team of course. I'm very happy, we worked hard. Throughout the race, legs were heavy as yesterday was hard, but I'm happy with the win. Today the finish was uphill and I love that. In the coming days I will help my team to be well placed.


"Despite the extreme heat, I felt really good. I understood that this stage profile suits me well and I know how to tackle the uphill finish. So the main goal was to be at the front in the finale and keep an eye on the rivals. I managed to follow Visconti attack and outsprinted him in the final meters. I am very happy, thanks to the team! It was great!"


Sergey Klimov, Gazprom - RusVelo’s sports director, added:


"BMC Racing Team decided to let the breakaway go and we had to follow a defensive strategy. Our guys were at the head of the peloton while chasing the first group and later on we’ve brought up Roman Maikin to the front. He managed to get a good position before the final sprint and took an advantage of the situation. Visconti attacked, Roman was able to answer him and took the stage. We are very glad with this win, the boys worked great."


Aggressive Giovanni Visconti agonizingly close victory in Limousin

The Tour du Limousin saw again the most courageous version from the Movistar Team on stage two, another lumpy ride with a difficult circuit in Auzances (174 km).


As the race remained under control from very early, BMC and Cofidis keeping gaps tight with the breakaway of Cosnefroy (ALM), Delaplace (FVC), Le Roux (ECA) and Dassonville (AUB), the squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena took the reins into the final 15km with a strong pace change that brought Giovanni Visconti into a selected front group.


The Italian's move, which started as a five-man attempt - including the race leader Joey Rosskopf (BMC) himself -, got down to a duo which the three-time national champion tried to make count until the very finishing straight. There, the man from San Baronto was caught as Russian Roman Maikin (GAZ) narrowly beat 2015 overall winner Sonny Colbrelli (BAR) in the slightly uphill sprint.


Visconti came home in 4th place - with Fran Ventoso in 12th - a result which isn't still making the Blues happy. The Spanish team will still have another two more chances, starting with Thursday's most demanding stage over 180km and the Côte de Roche-le-Peyroux (3ª), just 7k from the finish in Liginiac.


Rafal Majka shows sprinting talent in Limousin

The second stage of the Tour du Limousin again took the peloton slightly by surprise with a tougher finish than expected, seeing many of the sprinters out of contention, while the punchier finishers came to the fore. Leading the way for Tinkoff was Rafal Majka, again showing good form after a promising opening stage yesterday, taking a top ten on the line.


“Since Rio everything is going well for Rafa – he missed the break yesterday but he was up there today and he’s really motivated here,” explained Sport Director Tristan Hoffman from the finish. “We were planning on playing the card of Erik Baška, but the racing got pretty tough in the final 15km and he dropped off the pace, so we switched to Rafa as the finish was difficult, with the final 1200m gradually rising, and he went for it and got a top ten.”


Falling all the time over the tough, testing parcours with its constant ups and downs, twists and turns, the break was finally brought back into the fold with just over 20km to go. From here most eyes were set on a fast bunch finish, despite a few ambitious late attacks in the final. After Baska dropped off the pace, the team focused its efforts on getting Majka into the best position ahead of the finish and from there he did a good ride to sprint to sixth place.


“Tomorrow there’s a small climb in the final kilometres and this will suit Rafa more than today so hopefully he can again try something here,” Hoffman continued. “It’s really hard racing here – small roads, left and right all the time, with lots of altitude gain. It’s tough but the young guys did a good job today looking after the others and we’re ready to fight again tomorrow.”


Aggressive Auber 93 team defends mountains jersey in Limousin

Flavien Dassonville (HP BTP-Auber 93) was in the break and defended the mountains jersey.


"This is the philosophy of the team,” he told Directvelo. “We must have someone in the breakaway every day. We must show the jersey! And in addition, we still managed to get a place of honor with Romain (Feillu, 7th). I spent my second day at the front, with the polka dot jersey. It was important, but not necessarily complicated because my companions were nice and let me take the points. On the other hand, I was doing my share of work in the group. I have a good lead but it is never guaranteed. We will see how the two last stages go.”


Joey Rosskopf defends jersey: My teammates are machines

After missing out on the opportunity yesterday, Tour du Limousin Stage 2 came down to a battle of the sprinters with a top ten finish for Rick Zabel while Joey Rosskopf crossed the line with the bunch to maintain his lead on the General Classification.  


Despite the peloton setting a fast place right from the start of today’s stage, a four-rider breakaway was able to escape off the front of the group after only 10 kilometers of racing.


The group led for the majority of the day but their advantage never reached beyond 3 minutes 30 seconds as the peloton, led by BMC Racing Team, kept tight control of the race and they were finally reeled back in with 25 kilometers to go.


With the race back together a bunch sprint looked inevitable and eventually it was Roman Maikin (Gazprom-RusVelo) who emerged as the winner in a photo finish on the line.


Joey Rosskopf said:


"The day was almost easy for me thanks to all the work of the team. The breakaway went away early so, my nerves quickly faded. It was my first day in yellow, but my teammates have a lot of experience and that really reassured me. They are machines!


“At the end, I had to follow a couple of the attacks but when Visconti and Maikin went just before the flamme rouge, I chose not to make the effort because I thought it would come back to a sprint. Finally, they stayed away but it is not a big issue. I kept the yellow jersey. That's the most important thing. I’m feeling confident for the next two days. Tomorrow’s stage will be tiring but my teammates are very strong."


Sports Director Jackson Stewart said:


“We knew that it was an uphill sprint today but we thought that if it came down to a field sprint that Rick Zabel would have a chance and he was up there at the end. Overall today we did a really good job defending the jersey. Everybody rode really hard especially Peter Velits and Manuel Senni who rode most of the day alone up at the front of the peloton. Joey was really attentive all day and was able to mark a few dangerous attacks in the final and Alessandro de Marchi was always there calling the shots and keeping everyone on the same game place so all in all it was a good day.


“Of course we were hoping that we could be on the podium again for the stage but it just didn’t work out today. We’re still taking this race day by day but it was a positive day for us today and we are hopeful that we can protect the time bonuses and try to keep the jersey all the way to the end. That’s a good goal and we have the perfect team to do that but we are definitely still hungry for stage wins as well so we will keep looking at all the opportunities as they arise.”


Attacking Anthony Delaplace targets GC in Limousin

Anthony Delaplace (Fortuneo Vital Concept) was in the break.


"I was instructed to go into the break to gain time for GC,” he said. “I did the sprints and I took four seconds to move into ninth position overall. Knowing that BMC had the jersey, I was not doing me many illusions about the stage win. I'm happy with my day, I was where I had to be.


"The objective today was to be in the breakaway. I'm not able to do something in the sprint so the only way to go for GC was to take the bonus seconds. Unfortunately, BMC controlled everything. I am sad to say it but I never thought about the stage win. I am up there in the sprint competition but it does not become a target. I'm going to rest, stay in the wheels tomorrow while trying to hang on to take advantage of differences in the final.


Ag2r stagiaire shows himself in Limousin

Stagiaire Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale) was in the break.


"I was instructed to follow the moves early in the race,” he told Directvelo. “I was fortunate to join the right group. It was a long day in the front without much reward because we saw that the peloton was playing with us. It is important to be in front. An escape is always a satisfaction, but above all I am looking at the result. The team was united around Hubert Dupont."

Armee rider: This jersey is a meager consolation prize

Romain Le Roux (Army) was in the break and took the sprints jersey.


"I joined the break thinking of bonus seconds. I managed to get a few seconds and then I missed a split in the last kilometer. It's infuriating, it was all for nothing. I paid for my efforts. Initially, I was aiming for the GC but now I can forget about that. Now I have the sprints jersey, a meager consolation prize. Why not focus on a stage win now?”



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