Nikolai Trussov sneaked away in the final 800 metres of stage five of the Tour of Catalonia for an unexpected victory ahead of sprint favourite Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) and Italian Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas). Overall, there was no change.
Trussov (also spelled Trusov, just to make things slightly more confusing) is probably best known to fans for winning stage two of the Tour of Britain in 2007, when racing for Tinkoff. The lanky Russian outduelled Australian Luke Roberts in Taunton whilst the rest of the front group were disentangling themselves from a large crash in the last kilometre.
The Katusha pro has won several team pursuit World Cup events whilst racing for Russia, but Taunton remained his only road win – until Friday in the Tour of Catalonia.
Understandably, Trussov said outpowering Hushovd in a major ProTour race like Catalonia was the bigger of the two victories in his career, and the more unlikely.
?I turned round with 100 metres to go and thought I?d had it,? he said afterwards. ?Hushovd was coming up so quickly. But I just managed to hang on.?
Overall, after an ultra-fast stage on which the riders averaged nearly 45 kmh despite being 201.3 kilometres long, there were no important changes.
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse D?Epargne) still leads Dan Martin (Garmin) by 15 seconds and Haimar Zubeldia (Astana) by 22. But Saturday?s 150.5 kilometre stage, which has a ferociously hilly first section before finishing in Barcelona, could be a different story altogether.