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Viatcheslav Ekimov and Johan Bruyneel have a chat before the ride gets rolling back to town.
Former racer beaten by resource giant chief Makarov
Former professional rider Viatcheslav Ekimov has failed in his attempt to become the president of the Russian Cycling Federation.
The 44-year-old, who rode for the likes of Panasonic, Rabobank and US Postal during his career (pictured with Johan Bruyneel, right), was vying for the presidency against Igor Makarov and Yuri Kuchereaviy, the former winning by a siginificant margin.
Makarov, the president of oil and gas company ITERA, which has supported Russian cycling for many years and is the main sponsor of Team Katusha, was elected to the position with 29 votes, whilst Kuchereaviy and Ekimov received 11 and five votes respectively.
Since retiring Ekimov has been a directeur sportif with the now-defunct Discovery Channel outfit before moving to Team Astana when Johan Bruyneel was team manager during Lance Armstrong's time with the team.
Ekimov then followed the Belgian to Team RadioShack upon its formation late last year. The Russian was a vital assistant to Armstrong during most of his seven Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005.
For his part, president-elect Makarov is a passionate cycling fan, much in the mould of Oleg Tinkoff, whose team became the current Katusha ProTour outfit with the arrival of Makarov's ITERA resources company in 2008.