Ignatiev still hunting for stage wins

Russian wins the Tour's stage five combativity award

Mikhail Ignatiev (Team Katusha) was awarded the Tour de France's daily combativity prize on Wednesday for his efforts in the Tour de France's ultimately successful stage five breakaway.

Ignatiev launched several attacks in the final six kilometres but was unable to get back on terms with Thomas Voeckler (BBOX Bougyues Telecom) when the Frenchman countered with three kilometres remaining in the stage.

"I planned to escape today, but didn't really think we would go until the finish," said Ignatiev on the Team Katusha website. "But after hard work in the escape group, we created a good gap. I had very good sprinters in my group, so my only chance was to attack. I tried several times but after my last dig Thomas Voeckler attacked and won the stage."

The Russian was one of only two members of the original six rider breakaway to finish ahead of the peloton on the run into Perpignan. Ignatiev crossed the line seven seconds behind Voeckler and just centimetres ahead of a diving Mark Cavendish, who took third.

Ignatiev's visit to the podium was the first for Team Katusha at this year's Tour de France.

Ignatiev will ride stage six to Barcelona on Thursday wearing the red dossard, marking him as the most competitive rider of stage five. He indicated, however, that he will be looking for another opportunity for a stage win during this year's Tour.

"I am happy with my second place, because the peloton was [so] to close to me and I could lose it. I'm sure I will try one more time in [the] next days."

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