Sergey Firsanov wins the Tour of Kavkaz
RusVelo rider Sergey Firsanov won the final classification of the Tour of Kavkaz, having finished 2nd in the last stage, 10 km-long uphill time trial. The stage winner Dmitry Ignatiev (ITERA-Katusha) set the best time of 18.21, 33.7 km/h, riding the course 13 seconds faster than his closest rival. For Firsanov it was the very first race after a complicated injury sustained in the Tour de Pologne. Yet another RusVelo rider Timofey Kritskiy made top ten in the GC; stage two winner Igor Boev took the best climber’s jersey.
Sergey Firsanov said:
“This victory comes as a surprise to me. My first training outdoors after the crash was a mere dozen of days before the race start. I didn’t do any special work like intervals or whatever, I just pedaled in the mountains trying to find some good sensations in the legs. I had some seconds thought as to whether it made any sense to pin up the race number at all – most of the time riding out of the saddle gave me a lot of pain in the ribs and the collarbone. On the positive side, nobody put any pressure of expectations on me, and I like riding with a relaxed attitude. As soon as the racing started, I forgot all my aches and pains and tried to ride as hard as possible. Stage 2 was a crucial moment for me, with a roller-coaster profile and endless attacks. I was on my limit then; passing this test and finishing in the leading group felt like a breakthrough. The teammates came together over me and gave me a lot of support, both mentally and in action, I just couldn’t let them down. Winning stage 4 cost me a serious effort, and I felt it today, it held me back a bit, together with the fact that we rode normal road bikes instead of TT machines. Overall, I liked it here, the weather was much better than during an extremely windy GP of Adygeya, and the atmosphere in the peloton was very friendly. It is my first stage race win in two years; I hope it will give me a push into the next season. It looks like my injury had been a blessing in disguise”.