Olympic gold medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov of the Soviet Union utilized his powerful hill-climbing abilities, then outsprinted two others to win the 110-mile first stage of the Tour de Trump bicycle race Saturday in 4 hours, 35 minutes and 18 seconds.
After holding a earlier lead with several others, Ekimov was eventually caught by about half of the 114-rider field. But he broke away with three others while negotiating the final three-mile hill with six miles remaining.The foursome neared the finish line together, before Ekimov edged Gert-Jan Theunisse of Holland and Reynel Montoya of Colombia by less than the length of a wheel.
With his victory in the Albany to New Paltz Road Race, Ekimov, of Leningrad, the team pursuit gold medalist in the Seoul Games, overtook previous overall race leader Thomas Craven of Huntington Beach, Calif., who won Friday's prologue.
With his 30-second bonus time for winning, Ekimov, who finished 18th in the prologue, leads Theunisse by eight seconds. Montoya is third overall, 24 behinds Ekimov.
"I had no illusions that my early lead would hold up," Ekimov said through an interpreter.
Ekimov will not be able to keep the $1,250 stage winner's purse.