Balykin wins Maykop-Uliap-Maykop, Maikin 3rd
RusVelo rider Ivan Balykin won the inaugural edition of 1.2 Maykop-Uliap-Maykop, beating Timofey Kritskiy (Russian national team) in a two-man sprint. Balykin’s teammate Roman Maikin rounded off the podium. On a predominantly flat 171 km-long course the race was decided in a bunch of 24, five RusVelo riders among them.
RusVelo DS Alexander Efimkin explained the tactics that eventually worked well:
“The wind was not even half as strong as it was forecast, but we didn’t back down over the plan to tire out our rivals, sprinters and their lead-out men in particular. I saw determination in the eyes of the guys before the start, and they made this race really hard; I’m happy with the way they fully controlled the race. The luck was not always on our side, Andrey Solomennikov punctured in a final couple of kilometers, Alexander Komin fell pretty hard and broke the bike; still both riders are OK and motivated to show what they are capable of in the stage race that starts tomorrow”.
Ivan Balykin said:
“I’m happy to open my winning score this season, but it’s also the way we worked as a team that gives me even more reason to enjoy it. We played with two tactical schemes: to let a controllable escape go or to destroy the field by dictating the hard pace at the front. Although the wind was not that strong, the peloton started to break into echelons; then a large group bridged the gap. 15 km to go we gave yet another hard pull so that the front group thinned out to about 23-25 guys. Timofey Kritskiy attacked with some 700 meters to the line, there were two wet turns on this stretch. I was the only one who hanged on to his wheel, and then I managed to outsprint my former teammate. We also need to give Roman his due, he beat a strong sprinter Sergey Nikolaev from Itera-Katusha. It’s my turn to help others now that RusVelo climbers will hunt for the general classification of the Tour of Adygeya”.