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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Reigning Olympic time trial champion Viacheslav Ekimov, who announced his retirement from cycling at the end of last year, is taking over as manager of the Russian team, Itera. The 35-year-old Russian decided not to extend his contract with the U.S. Postal Service team so that he can concentrate on building up the Russian outfit. Named as the best Russian cyclist of the 20th century, Ekimov won the time-trial gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 ahead of Germany’s Jan Ullrich and America’s Lance Armstrong. In his 12-year pro career, he won more than 50 races, including stages of the Tour de France and Tour of Spain, and the overall titles at the Tour DuPont, Tour of China and Three Days of De Panne.