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"I knew this climb because I was here in the Tour de France. And the last time I made a mistake of attacking too early. This time I let others do that and waited for the perfect moment," Trofimov says

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele




11.06.2014 @ 17:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One year ago Yury Trofimov had made the right breakaway in the Tour de France stage to Gap but attacked to early on the Col de Manse and saw Rui Costa ride away with the stage win. This year he found himself in a similar position when the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné had an almost identical finale and this time he timed things much better to take a solo vctory.


Team Katusha’s Iurii Trofimov raised his arms in victory on the fourth stage of the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné, earning a stunning solo victory in Gap as the race reached the halfway point. It was a second career stage win in the Dauphiné for Trofimov, 30, his first coming in stage 5 of the 2008 edition of the race.


"I am very happy today," he said. "Honestly I did not expect to win a stage here in the Dauphiné. Because of British visa affairs I had to move part of my preparation from Europe to Russia so I was unsure of my real level of fitness right now.


"Today we had the job to go in the breakaway and I managed to do that.  The break was a good one and all of the riders worked well. Closer to the finish we all knew we’d have a chance to play for the stage victory.


"I knew this climb because I was here in the Tour de France. And the last time I made a mistake of attacking too early. This time I let others do that and waited for the perfect moment. Finally everything went well.


“I can't believe I won. In the beginning of the stage, I saved my legs for the end, then I rode flat out in the climb. I gave the maximum. I knew who was who in the breakaway. Now I'd like to win stage at the Tour de France as well.”


"Today we planned to attack in the beginning of the race to put one of our riders in the breakaway," sports director Dmitry Konyshev said. "Iurii made a good move and joined the group. It was a good option for our team. He is just now building his form and after training at home in Russia for some time, he needed to test himself to see where he is in preparation for the Tour de France.


"During the stage we told him not to wait until the finish to attack and he did it – he picked the right moment! He took his advantage on the climb so then on the descent he just held it.


"We are all very happy with this success. This is a strong result for both the team and the rider. This victory will give Iurii more confidence and motivation before the Tour de France."


Stage 4 began in Montélimar and ended in Gap after 167,5km. Trofimov was part of a 13-man breakaway that went clear after 21 km of racing in today’s stage. The group held an advantage of close to five minutes and cooperated well to keep their position. With 18 km to go, Iurii attacked his group and headed up the final climb of the Col de Manse alone, putting in a massive effort to build an advantage and hold off the chasers behind him.


Cresting the summit at 12,5 km still to go, Trofimov held 2.35 to the yellow jersey group who were satisfied to ride tempo, with the most interested challengers attacked from the original breakaway. But on the risky descent Trofimov displayed strong bike handling skills and pure determination as he continued to hold his advantage into Gap. He crossed the finish line solo at 3:59.22, a full 23- and 25-seconds in front of Gustav Larsson (IAM Cycling) and Pim Lightart of Lotto Belisol.


The yellow jersey group of Christopher Froome clocked in at 2.10, with the gap still holding at 12-seconds to Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and 21-seconds to Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) on the general classification.


Stage 5 on Thursday is 189 km from Sisteron to La Mure.  The course features 3 category two climbs and three category 3 climbs along the way.



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