Just a few minutes after the Katusha team’s fantastic victory at yesterday’s team time-trial at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in Italy, Joaqium “Purito” Rodríguez scooped an outstanding 3rd place in the Tour of Catalonia. He was quite obviously motivated by the WorldTour trophy, which he had received on Monday because he was always very alert on the final climb and was also able to ride himself into 3rd place in the general classification.
“It was a hard climb, it looked like we had a slow pace, but actually it was very cold and hard instead. In the end Movistar riders were the majority of the group, so they could control the final part of the stage. I was slipstreaming Quintana, but in the end I could not follow him. Anyway, I am satisfied. In stage like this it could have been much worse, but instead I managed to gain an advantage over my rivals. I’m in good shape, so I am satisfied”, said Purito.
At the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartal in Italy Katusha won its first time-trial of the season on the new Speedmax CF. The race was staged in a new way for the first time this year with each of the 25 competing teams being split into two groups and starting independently of each other. The times of the fastest two riders in each team were added together and at the end Katusha was 5 seconds faster than the Cannondale team in 2nd place. Maxim Belkov from Katusha now leads in the general classification ahead of his teammate Sergei Chernetckii.
“I am really happy about the victory. 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 few days. I think the result we showed today is important not only for Katusha, but for the whole Russian Global Cycling Project, too. Today we had young Russian riders on the squad, who are just starting their professional careers! 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 the things he does for Russian cycling and that Katusha has the possibility to take part in and win the world’s best pro races” – Maxim Belkov.