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Photo ©: Schaaf

 UCI codes explained

Mayor Cup - 1.2

Moscow, Russia, May 3, 2006

2005 Results    Results    Past winners

Tinkov hits the road; Latvians win

By Sergey Kurdyukov, Russian Eurosport commentator

The winner:
Photo ©: Sergey Kurdyukov
(Click for larger image)

Normunds Lasis and Aleksejs Saramotins from the Latvian Rietumu Bank Riga team claimed the honours in the Mayor Cup, held in Moscow. The best placed Russian rider was Eduard Vorganov (Omnibike Dynamo) in third place.

Yet another international one-day race aspiring to grow into a prestigious classic was held in the central part of Russian capital atop the picturesque high banks of the river Moscow. Actually, every criterium-style event in the city offers fantastic panoramic views. The trouble is that the riders rarely have time to enjoy them as much as they deserve, as these races are characterized by a lack of warm-up section at the beginning. Young guns, as soon as the gun fires, put the hammer down and there is no holding them back.

Normally the Vorobiovy Hills circuit is a 7km-long loop boasting a very steep ascent that tears the pack to pieces. This time, because of road works, the route was changed into 20 8.2 km long laps. On paper, the altimetry posed no difficulty, but this deceptively easy course showed its true colours right away. Two 1 km long drags, around 2.5 per cent each, together with gusty side wind started destroying the monolith of the field. Pretty soon there was a couple of breakaways in front of the main pack. But it was exactly this biggest group that drew most of spectators’ attention.

Oleg Tinkov (Tinkov Restaurants)
Photo ©: Sergey Kurdyukov
(Click for larger image)

The matter was that at the head of it, one could see the tall figure of Oleg Tinkov, the owner of the company sponsoring one of the best-organized and ambitious young Russian squads, Tinkoff Restaurants – S7 Airlines. The 38 year-old team patron was back in the saddle racing after a 20 year break in his cycling career! What brought one of the most popular Russian businessmen back to sports is an interesting story in itself, which Cyclingnews will tell its readers soon. Although Oleg had put some 7,000 kilometres in his legs during the 2 months training period preceding Mayor’s Cup, it was his very first official race. No wonder most of experts were skeptical about his chances to reach the finish, taking into account the aggressive character of this 164km-long event. But he did it, though his face turned grey from dust and fatigue. Young riders from Tinkoff Restaurants – S7 Airlines squad came together around the boss and escorted him in the main pack like a true leader. It didn’t take him too long to recuperate and start looking for a new challenge.

The leading breakaway was taken under control by two riders from the Rietumu Bank Riga team. This excellently equipped squad had arrived the previous morning, and its riders were definitely fresher than those who had ventured in the GP of Moscow in Krylatskoye less than 24 hours before. Eduard Vorganov, who often wins on his home ground, just like Volodymyr Rybin, 2005 points race World Champion from Ukraine, had no arguments to counter the flawless teamwork of the Latvians, and in the end it was Normunds Lasis and Aleksejs Saramotins in a Rietumu Bank Riga 1-2 finish.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Sergey Kurdyukov, Russian Eurosport commentator

Results - 164 km

1 Normunds Lasis (Lat) Rietumu Bank Riga        4.04.41 (40.215 km/h)
2 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Rietumu Bank Riga    
3 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo
4 Volodymyr Rybin (Ukr) ISD-Donetsk                0.02
5 Viacheslav Vilkov (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo          0.33
6 Olegs Melehs (Lat) Rietumu Bank Riga    
29 Oleg Tinkov (Rus) Tikoff Reastaurants- S7 Airlines

Past winners

2005 Ivan Terenine (Rus) Omnibike Dynamo Moscow