Coppi e Bartali: Maxim Belkov takes the lead after Katusha team time trial victory
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Coppi e Bartali: Maxim Belkov takes the lead after Katusha team time trial victory

by Ben Atkins at 2:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
‘A’ half of Russian team fastest over short, flat afternoon stage

katusha teamMaxim Belkov was propelled into the lead of the 2013 Settimana Coppi e Bartali after the ‘A’ half of his Katusha team emerged victorious in the second semitappa team time trial between Sant'Angelo and Gatteo Mare, on the Adriatic coast. The Russian WorldTour squad completed the flat, predominantly straight, 11.2km course in a time of 13’15”, five seconds faster than Cannondale Pro Cycling ‘B’, with NetApp-Endura ‘A’ eight seconds back in third place.

As the Katusha ‘A’ rider best in the general classification after the morning’s short road stage, Belkov took the race leader’s red jersey, two seconds ahead of teammate Sergei Chernetski - who lost those seconds in the final metres of the stage - with Cannondale’s Damiano Caruso five seconds behind in third place.

“I am really happy for the victory,” said Belkov afterwards. “We prepared very well for this time trial and we were focused on the best result possible. And we did it. Now, I am also the leader of the race and I will try to do my best in the next days.

“I think, the result, we showed today is important not only for Katusha, but for the whole Russian Global Cycling Project too,” he continued. “Today we had young Russian riders in the roster, who are just starting their professional lives! We, the riders with a lot of experience are proud of that.

“On behalf of the whole team I would like to thank the Project management and Igor Makarov, personally, for all things he does for the Russian cycling and for what Katusha has the possibility to take part and to win in the best world’s races,” Belkov added.

Unusually, for a team time trial, the 25 teams in the race were to be split in half - teams ‘A’ and ‘B’ - with four riders from each completing the course separately from the other four. With Belkov and Chernetckii were Alexander Porsev and World under-23 time trial champion Anton Vorobyev, while Petr Ignatenko, Mikhail Ignatyev and Timofey Kritskiy rode in Katusha ‘B’. [Katusha only had seven riders in the race - ed]

With Caruso in Cannondale ‘B’ were Ivan Basso, Moreno Moser and Paolo Longo Borghini, while NetApp-Endura ‘A’ was made up of Jan Barta, Bartosz Huzarski, Iker Camaño and Jose Joao Mendes.

Result stage 1b
1. Katusha A Team (Rus) 11.2km in 13’15”
2. Cannondale Pro Cycling B (Ita) @ 5s
3. Team NetApp-Endura A (Ger) @ 8s
4. Lampre-Merida A (Ita) @ 10s
5. Lokosphinx A (Rus) @ 11s
6. RusVelo (Rus) A @ 17s
7. Team Astana A (Kaz) @ 21s
8. ASC Dukla Praha A (Cze) @ 22s
9. Vini Fantini-Selle Italia B (Ita) @ 23s
10. CCC Polsat Polkowice A (Pol) @ 26s

Standings after stage 1b
1. Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team
2. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha @ 2s
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling @ 5s
4. Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
5. Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling @ 6s
7. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura @ 8s
8. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Serghey Shilov (Rus) Lokosphinx @ 11s
10. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida


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