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Re: Kirill Pozdnyakov blog
« on: April 28, 2016, 17:48 »
KIRILL AND THE TOUR OF CROATIA

It was a beautiful week of racing in Croatia, we achieved great team results and I enjoyed being part of this success! I remember myself last year when I did the Tour of Croatia and when I compare that to where I am no, I'm really happy. At last my work starts to turn into results and I feel great sensations on my bike again.

I wanted to do well in the general classification.  Before the race I knew I had good condition and my power was good enough to do well. The last two years were very disappointing years for me. but when we hit the first hills I realised that I actually had a good opportunity to fight for a high  GC position.

Unfortunately, I crashed during stage 2 with some other favourites 20 km from the finish and lost 51 seconds. I did all I could to always be in the front of the peloton to avoid all the dangerous moments. At this moment, though being in the front of the group didn't bring me any luck :) For general classification my chances went down but my teammate Matija Kvasina was lucky enough to avoid this crash and to have better cards than me.

Stage 4 was the day to decide who should win this race, with the mountain finish.. In the morning I woke up with the ambition to still fight for my goal that i had before the race. I still had this little chance to get in the breakaway and hope this group would stay away until the climb with some advantage on the main group.

Before the first mountain, the break went away and I was there. There were a lot of attacks and just before the mountain finish, a group of 20 guys came to our group. Not everyone was interested in cooperating and the main peloton was also not far away. I decided to stay calm and wait until the last climb and see what will happen. Then when a few guys attacked I stayed calm and waited until the main group came back. When we all came together, it was already 50-60 guys maybe and Trek Factory took control of the race until the finishing climb.

We started the climb very fast and with a good tempo . Directly from the start i realised today could be my day. I could sit comfortably with the first guys. Tinkoff and CCC were making tempo all the way until 15 km to the top and no one could really get away. My teammate Matija had also good feelings and he was in a better position than me in classification.  I   wanted to try and fight for the stage win, but to gain time back for GC would be hard. But for him it was about taking the jersey this day, so decision was to help him make the best of it and try to win this race with him.

The last 10 km of the climb I rode for him and made the tempo until the last 4km when the climb got steeper and from there it was on him to go for it :) He did great and came 2nd on this stage and also took the leader’s jersey. I was very happy after this stage, we made great efforts and it worked well .

For our small team to perform like this on this level is a huge result and having the opportunity to take a jersey and fight for the overall win is much bigger than a stage win at this point. The day could not end up better than this !

The day after we had maybe the biggest test for us. On paper maybe we weren't contenders but cycling is not only numbers and calculations ;) A team time trial in the rain for 43km is team work. We were the last team to start and just before the start we heard that almost every team had crashed more than once. Technical roads and a lot of roundabouts brought a lot of teams in trouble.

In cycling its all about team work but there only one winner or one team that can pull this success to the end. Every day we try to help each other but even this does not always work -- in the sprint stages someone can help more than another, for example. Earlier some teammates maybe could help more than me in the last kms when it comes to the sprint, but  yesterday I could deliver this work for success on the climb.

But today during the TTT it was Tamo (Ioannis Tamouridis) who made our day successful, his experience was the success for our ride. We rode very carefully in the roundabouts and dosed our power perfectly to finish 4th and keep the race lead.

On the last day we only had to survive local laps with a small cobble hill and make sure that Matija was near the guys who were close to him in GC. All the team did the work perfectly. On the last lap I stayed with Matija to make sure he will not get in troubles, but he did well and no one could be real danger for him. We won Tour of Croatia and enjoyed the moment in Zagreb , for myself i kept 7th place in GC and feel strong.

Next week is a big challenge for our team, the most important race of the year, the Tour d’Azerbaidjan. We are going there with a winning spirit. There is only one winner and a lot can happen. No one can guarantee the victory but from my side I guarantee this fight for the win!
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