The Sochi Cup one-day 150km cycle race experienced weather conditions of cold, rain and strong winds: of 161 athletes, only 26 crossed the finish line. Two Minsk team members were among them: Alexander Kuchinsky and Konstantin Klimenkov.
Kuchinsky took the lead from the start, alongside Belarusian Vladimir Gorokhovik and Russians Igor Kuznetsov and Andrey Solomennikov. The four increased their advantage throughout the race and, by the finish, were almost two minutes ahead of their closest rivals.
Just 300m before the finish line, the Russians, who had been watching experienced Kuchinsky for the pace, were left surprised by young Gorokhovik’s sudden breakthrough. The Belarusian completed the race in front of all other cyclists, followed by Kuznetsov, then Solomennikov and Kuchinsky (who came fourth). Fellow Minsk team member Konstantin Klimenkov finished 25th.
The Sochi Cup has brought Belarus 52 points in the UCI ratings, with Gorokhovik claiming 40 and Kuchinsky scoring 12 (his first rating points for the Minsk squad).
Sadly, there were no Belarusian victories in another single day road cycling race — the Grand Prix of Sochi Mayor — held in Russia under the aegis of the International Cycling Union (UCI). However, our racers managed a worthy place among the top twenty.
By Igor Leshin