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The first thing you should know about the Russian Grand Prix is Alexander Federov is for real. He has a long way to go to match everything Ronnie Coleman has, but you could say that about everyone else in the Olympia posedown. Despite recovering from surgery for a torn pectoral, the 26-year-old Russian certainly has what it takes to make that posedown next year. This day, like 23 other days, belonged to Coleman, as he racked up his 23nd professional win, earning $15,000 and breaking Vince Tayler's record of 22.
The biggest surprise of the show was the disappearance of Radoslav Slodkiewicz. In shredded condition with a great V-taper and quad sweep, he was third after the prejudging but dropped out before the evening show due to illness. That allowed Russia's Sergei Tsikunkol to move into third, thus earning a qualification for the 2005 Mr. Olympia. England's Mike Sheridan or America's Kris Dim (who looked much better at the finals than the prejudging) would've been better choices for the three-spot but had to settle for fourth and fifth respectively. Italy's Alberto Bistocchi rounded out the posedown.
Team FLEX was there for the monumental rematch between Coleman and Federov, along with all the shouting matches, joking shenanigans, major mixups and police run-ins (and that was just the first day of the Euro tour!). Watch for the full behind-the-scenes story of the tour in an upcoming issue of FLEX, and check back for the Dutch Grand Prix report and results tomorrow (Saturday, November 6).
1. Ronnie Coleman (USA)
2. Alexander Federov (Russia) 3. Sergei Tsikunkol (Russia)
4. Michael Sheridan (England)
5. Kris Dim (USA)
6. Alberto Bistocchi (Italy)
7. Tommi Thorvildsen (Norway)
8. Guseppe Albi (Italy)
9. Alexander Tumashevion (Russia)