Denis Galimzyanov happy with progress as he takes another second place
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Denis Galimzyanov happy with progress as he takes another second place

by Ben Atkins at 12:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
 
24-year-old Katusha sprinter improving day by day as he chases his first victory of the season; teammate Mikhail Ignatiev on the attack again

denis galimzyanovDenis Galimzyanov (Katusha) sprinted to second place in today’s 159km opening stage of the Tour of Oman. The 24-year-old Russian managed to take on and beat the entire field; with the exception of stage winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), who has been almost unbeatable this season so far. The German Gorilla dominated the sprints of the Tour Down Under in January, but was forced to sit out last week’s Tour of Qatar with a stomach virus; he has returned in Oman as the fastest once again, and Galimzyanov was just unable to match him on the line.

Today’s result was Galimzyanov’s second straight runner-up spot of the season though, after the final stage of Qatar on Saturday, and he feels that his first victory is on the way.

"I'm satisfied with my performance,” said Galimzyanov. “Obviously I'd rather win but I did my best. I stayed on [Garmin-Barracuda’s Tyler] Farrar's wheel and started my sprint with 80 metres to go; I was able to pass him but I couldn't do much more to defeat Greipel. He was the fastest today, so he deserved to win; but I can be satisfied because the last kilometre was not easy, it was a little uphill with a not so strong headwind, so not the best condition for a pure sprinter.

While he was following the wheel of Farrar, Galimzyanov was brought to the front by the lead out train of his Katusha team, which kept the pace high on his behalf.

“Again I have to thank my teammates,” Galimzyanov added. “In the end [Rüdiger] Selig, [Vladimir] Isaychev and [Alexander] Kristoff did a great job, imposing our pace and taking me to the best possible position in order to fight for the win. I'm happy with my shape too; I'm not 100%, but I'm working well and improving day by day."

Katusha’s chief directeur sportif Valerio Piva is in his first year with the team, after working with the now-folded HTC-Highroad for a number of years. After just a few races though, the experienced Italian is happy with what he sees.

"Today all the team worked well,” he said. “We took a great result today with Denis; all the world's best sprinters are here in Oman, so a second place is really a good performance. Now he has the jersey for the best young rider, he will try to keep it until the end, even though it's not easy.”

Galimzyanov’s success was not the only noteworthy performance of the day from a Katusha rider, with perennial attacker Mikhail Ignatiev putting himself into the stage long break in the opening kilometres; not content to be pulled back with the others, the Russian time trial champion, and 2004 Olympic points race gold medallist, persisted alone, and was only caught inside the final 5km.

“Also [Mikhail] Ignatyev, today, did a great job,” said Piva. “He did a determined attack, managing to stay in the lead alone for more than 15 kilometres.

“If we continue this way, soon we will be at the highest place of the podium for sure."

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