Yes, Twisted Spoke is up for the Tour of Luxembourg. It’s a nice, small, manageable stage race in a nice, tidy little country.
It’s not like that insane Giro d’Italia where impresario Angelo Zomegnan tired to kill everyone with 40 mountain climbs, longer transfers and dangerous roads. He can’t make the route much harder so next year he’s outlawing energy bars and sports drinks just to up the degree of difficulty.
Nobody is afraid of Luxembourg and that’s part of the charm. Just a week long stage race on the way to the Tour de France. Today it was Mario Cipollini sprint student Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) who won the field sprint into Bascharage. The 24-year-old Russian beat the Sky duo of Greg Henderson and Davide Appollonio for his third win of the year.
“I’m very happy about this victory,” said Galimzyanov, stating the obvious. “I definitely have to thank the whole team for the huge work done today. My teammates placed me in a perfect position in order to play my hand in the final sprint.
Little has been said about Cipo’s involvement with the team since manager Andre Tchmil brought him in specifically to work with the young sprinters in the Russian Global Cycling Shindig! Whatever Mario is doing must to helping even if it’s just nickname development, hair gel recommendations and champagne spray techniques.
Katusha’s classics man Filippo Pozzato wanted no part of the former Lion King and you can see how underwhelming his results are this year. He’s still got the nice tats but no podiums. He’s in the doghouse now and both sides can’t wait for the one year contract to end.
Galimzyanov, however, looks like he might have a future and a few finish lines ahead of him. A first in stage 2 of the Three Days of De Panne and a stage win in the Tour of Poland and now he’s got little Luxembourg on his win list.
“I was behind Henderson’s wheel. I took advantage of his draft and I passed in the last 150 metres. All the team is very motivated in the Tour of Luxembourg as it’s a very important preparation towards the Tour de France,” said the Russian. “The goal is to try to win some other stages.”
No argument there. Winning stages is always a good goal in bike racing.