Denis Galimzyanov celebrates his first professional win
March: Sportsman of the Month
Katusha professional Denis Galimzyanov secures the first victory of his career. During the second stage of the “3 Tagen von de Panne”, the Russian sprinter beat back the competition to finish first.
Aged 24, Denis Galimzyanov is one of the youngest sprinters in the field. As the era of world champions such as Allessandro Petacchi and Robbie McEwen slowly but surely draws to a close, a few young cyclists are appearing to fill the gap. Sprints from the main peloton – or a sprint royale, as it is known on the scene – are guaranteed in future races. And not only by Katusha professional Denis Galimzyanov, but also by other promising young competitors. Regular head-to-heads between cyclists such as Peter Sagan, John Degenkolb or Yauheni Hutarovitch have recently produced some gripping sprint finishes.
The first races of the new season have clearly demonstrated that, as the older generation bows out, the younger is pulling up to take over. Galimzyanov has put in great performances at the Tour of Qatar, the Tour of Oman and the Paris-Nice race. The Russian, who has been a member of the professional camp since 2009, carried off a number of second and third places. By the time it came to “3 Tagen von de Panne” he was ready for more. During the second stage, which led the cyclists over the Kemmelberg (a notorious feature of the semi-classic Ghent-Wevelgem race), Galimzyanov pulled away at just the right moment, initially leaving the rest of the (youthful) competition behind.
Since a true sprinter not only needs explosive legs to carry off a win, but also the strength of his entire body transmitted through the bike, a few adjustments to the team bike were necessary. For instance, Martin Böckelmann, the FOCUS team’s liaison manager, swapped Galimzyanov’s stem for a different one. “A sprinter like Gali [Galimzyanov’s nickname] doesn’t only exert brute force on the pedals, he also uses the whole of his upper body. It’s important to appreciate the amount of power he transmits to the handlebars,” explains Böckelmann. That’s why Gali decided against the lightest stem available. With the FSA Team Issue, he can be sure that in spite of its low weight, every ounce of his strength will find its way onto the road. The second stage of the “3 Tage von de Panne” provided impressive proof that this tactic has paid off. FOCUS is looking forward to more great results by the team.