Minsk Cycling Club competed in the first 2016 race
Minsk Cycling Club UCI Continental road team officially opened the 2016 race program by the international signle-day race GP Costa degli Etruschi (1.1).
18 teams lined up in San Vincenzo on 7 February at the start line of the event opening a new cycling season in Italy. The start list was quite impressive with World Tour Lampre – Merida and five Procontinental teams.
Minsk Cycling Club started the race with 8 riders: Siarhei Papok, Stanislau Bazhkou, Kanstantsin Klimiankou, Raman Ramanau, Aleh Ahyievich, Andrei Piashkun, Anton Ivashkin, Aliaksei Piashkun.
The organizers prepared for the participants 190.6km distance with 2 circuits in the second part containing the ascent that the riders had to climb twice.
The race started with aggressive attacking that resulted in a three-man breakaway: Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Boev (Gazprom RusVelo) and Yamamoto (Nippo Vini Fantini). Although the trio initially built a significant gap over the main peloton, their time diminished as the race neared the halfway point of the race.
The peloton was back together over the day's final ascent. By this moment the peloton was thinned by numerous crashes. Minsk Cycling Club also lost four riders. Stanislau Bazhkou, Aleh Ahyievich, Anton Ivashkin and Aliaksei Piashkun didn’t finish the race due to different reasons.
The other Minsk riders struggled till the end. But only Siarhei Papok and Kanstanstin Klimiankou raced in the leading group of around 50 cyclists before the final circuit. So it was very complicated for them to confront more numerous opponents and expect a high position in the final classification.
It was Grega Bole (Nippo Vini Fantini) who won the sprint to the finish line ahead of runner-up Francesco Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli) and Diego Ulissi, in third place.
Siarhei Papok finished 39th almost 1 minute behind. Kanstanstin Klimiankou – 44th, Raman Ramanau – 55th, Andrei Piashkun – 90th.
“Generally the race was exactly like we planned it. At the last ascent the team was among the leaders. However the finishing part of the race showed that the guys are not 100% ready yet, the team manager Ruslan Pidgornyy shared his impressions. – The results reflect the current level of our physical conditions. I’m glad that despite numerous crashes we were lucky to avoid serious injuries. Everyone is ready to work hard in order to be more fit and show better results in the next races”.