Gazprom – RusVelo is to compete in Tour du Poitou Charantes
On the 22-25th of August Russian cycling team Gazprom — RusVelo is to compete in the French race Tour du Poitou Charantes. The contest has a 2.1 category and is part of UCI Europe Tour.
Since the first edition in 1987 the race has been organized annually and in 1991 was promoted to the professional level. Today the race is considered as one of the crucial stage-races in the concluding part of the racing calendar.
The 31st edition of Tour du Poitou Charantes features 658 kilometres distance packed in four stages. On the third racing day riders are to have a short team contest in the morning and an ITT in the evening, which plays a crucial role for the allocation of places in the overall classification. The altimetry of the remaining stages is mostly flat, thus sprinters have good chances to claim stage-wins and fight for the overall victory.
Roman Maikin and Alexey Tsatevich are to lead Gazprom — RusVelo on the sprinters’ stages, whereas the main hopes of the team for the GC are on Artem Ovechkin, who won the Russian National Championship in ITT in 2015. The French contest will be a very special race for a twenty-year old Stepan Kurianov, who will start his traineeship in the professional team.
Artem Ovechkin shared his expectations about an upcoming race: “Last week we competed in the neighboring region in France and the relocation did not take much time and didn’t affect my recovery at all. That’s why, I am in a good form right now and ready for the race. Gazprom — RusVelo is to participate in Tour du Poitou Charantes for the first time, I already competed in the race six years ago, back then I managed to be in top-15 in the GC. Apparently, the format of the race hasn’t significantly changed, with the only exception of an increased level of competition featuring six WT squads in the starting list of 2017. My personal goal for the French race is to improve the previous result and show my maximum in the ITT.”
Gazprom – RusVelo line-up: Igor Boev, Roman Maikin, Artem Ovechkin, Andrey Solomennikov, Artur Ershov, Alexey Tsatevich, Dmitry Kozonchuk, Stepan Kurianov.