Presidential Tour of Turkey video: Defending champion Efimkin aiming to win again
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Presidential Tour of Turkey video: Defending champion Efimkin aiming to win again

by Shane Stokes at 8:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Video
 
Russian says he’s geared his entire early season around repeat victory

Alexander EfimkinOne year after he scooped the biggest victory to date for the American Team Type 1, Russian rider Alexander Efimkin began today’s Presidential Tour of Turkey with ambitions of giving everything hard for another title.

The 30 year old from Kuybyshev in Russia said that he had geared his entire first part of the season around being ready for this race. “We are here to defend it, we are here to win, and it is going to be a hard week for us,” he said in a VeloNation video interview, conducted with the team’s PR officer Chris Baldwin as translator.

“We have got a much stronger team this year and we think we have got a good chance of defending it. The goal for me this year has been to come to this race and defend this title. That is something I have pointed all of my early season training at.”

Efimkin and his team know that they will have to play things exactly right to pull off the victory this year. While his success last year was well-earned, it was also somewhat unexpected; this time round, he will be a marked rider and one who is up against some very strong teams.

There’s also the additional demands of a grueling third stage, which features the toughest mountain finish in the event’s history. The day will take the riders over two category one climbs, including the ascent of Elmali, where the summit is 1850 metres above sea level.

Because of that, he’s got one clear group of rivals in mind. “The Colombians have a naturally strong team…it is a country which produces climbers as they have so many mountains out there,” he said. “But there are also quite a few guys on the other teams who would be natural competitors.”

However he believes that it’s not only the pure climbers who must be watched. “As nobody has seen this climb before, it may actually turn out that somebody gets away in a break and is able to get up a hill before anybody else can react, as there is no natural knowledge of the course.

“There are [also] five stages after the climb for any kind of breaks to be brought back. We have keep all our options open for the race.”

Click on the image below to watch the interview with Team Type 1’s Efimkin.

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