Belkov Takes Solo Stage Win For Katusha In Firenze

After a courageous solo escape for over 50 kilometers in cold and rainy conditions, Katusha Team’s Maxim Belkov won Stage 9 from San Sepolcro of the 2013 Giro d’Italia to Firenze on his Canyon Aeroad CF. “I am really happy about my result today. I was really hard to stay away today, but I kept my rhythm going and was able to win. I have to dedicate this to my team and to the Russian Global Cycling Project. It is my first win as a profession so it is something special.”

Maxim Belkov triumphiert als Solist auf der 9. Giro-Etappe / Foto: Roth

Originally from Izhevsk, the hometown of 1996 Giro d’Italia winner Pavel Tonkov, 28 year old Belkov was in the main escape of the day, then went away with two other riders, but went his own in a solo break, a perfect scenario for his Canyon Aeroad. Belkov’s was a planned attack as he explained post-race “Although I’m a time trial specialist, I decided that yesterday’s time trial was very hard. I looked at the road book and I thought a breakaway might get away today, and I thought it would be better to save my legs and try to get into it. I thought that was the best use of my energy.”

But Belkov was never certain of victory until he crossed the finsih line. “I knew they were riding very hard behind me, and I was never certain I would win. I simply did the best I could. In the final 2 km, I had so much cramp I could hardly think.” Belkov, who has been with Katusha Team since 2012, lives in Prato, near Firenze and came from the famous Russian cycling school of Udmurtia and was European U23 TT champion in 2007. Monday May 13th is the first rest day at the Giro d’Italia, with Tuesday May 13th the first mountain stage from Cordenons to Altopiano di Montasio.

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