Viatcheslav Ekimov (born February 4, 1966 in Vyborg near St. Petersburg) is a Russian Directeur Sportif who most recently coached for Team Astana. He retired from professional cycling in 2006 after a highly successful 16 year professional cycling career in which he amassed a large record of major wins including 3 Olympic Medals, National as well as World Cycling Championships, and numerous races and stages in major competitions throughout the world. He was awarded the title of Russian Cyclist of the Century in 2001.
He started training as a cyclist at the age of 12 at various training schools and the Armed Forces Sports Society during the Soviet era. He was 24 years old when he officially turned professional with Panasonic, after he had already enjoyed great success as a track rider, won an Olympic Gold medal in Team Pursuit, and won the Tour de Normandie.
Ekimov started and finished 15 Tours de France, tying him with Lucien Van Impe for the second most Tour finishes and narrowly missing the all time mark of 16 set by Joop Zoetemeck. When he announced that the 2006 Tour would be his last, the peloton honored him by allowing him to lead the final stage for a prestigious lap around the Champs-Élysées. He finished riding for Discovery in 2006 but stayed with the team as Assistant Directeur Sportif to Johan Bruyneel, going on to help lead the team to U.S. Pro Cycling Champions as well as the Tour of California and the Tour de Georgia.
His major results include: Team Pursuit Gold medal and 1st overall Tour de Normandie in 1988, Individual World Pursuit Champion in 1990, Points Race World Champion and Stage 20 of the Tour de France in 1991, 1st Züri-Metzgete and 1st overall Tour DuPont in 1994, 2nd overall Tour DuPont in 1995, 1st overall 3 Days of DePanne in 1996, National Road Race Champion 1997, 2nd overall Ronde van Nederland in 1998, 1st Stage 15 Vuelta a España in 1999, Olympic Gold Medal Road Race, 1st overall GP Eddy Merckx and 1st overall 3 Days of De Panne in 2000, 1st Stage 4 (TTT) Tour de France, 1st overall (and Stage 4 [ITT]) Ronde van Nederland, and 3rd overall Paris-Roubaix in 2003, 1st Stage 4 (TTT) Tour de France, 2nd overall (and Stage 4) Ronde van Nederland and Silver Olympic Medal Time Trial in 2004, 1st Stage 4 (ITT) 3 Days of De Panne.
By George Hurst