Alexander Gagiyev: No panic or perplexity in Belarusian cycling

Wed, 16/07/2014 - 11:58

There are no panic or perplexity in Belarusian cycling – in some time a systematic and painstaking work will bring high sport results, declared the First Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Alexander Gagiyev at a workshop on the state of affairs in cycling.

The Assistant of the President of the Republic of Belarus on Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism Development Maxim Ryzhenkov, Head of the National teams Department of Ministry of Sports Igor Boreisha, Director of the National Olympic Reserve Cycling Training Center Vadim Krivosheyev, Head coach of the cycling national team Oleg Logvin, First vice-president of the Belarus Cycling Federation Mikhail Dvoryakov and vice-presidents Alexey Ivanov and Natalia Tsilinskaya took part at the discussion.

The conversation was concerned and objective. Everyone agreed that Belarusian cycling is experiencing not the best times. However this characteristic mainly concerned Track cycling – performances of the Belarusian Road cyclists at international competitions are not so bad. But, as a rule, they do it riding for foreign clubs. Assistance and participation of Belarus in their sports career today is insignificant, that was frankly said at the meeting.

As for Track competitions, results of our cyclists there leave much to be desired. However that is no reason to indulge in despondency and sprinkle ashes on the heads, as it was said at the workshop.

After an unsuccessful performance at the 2013 UCI Track World Championships in Minsk (the best result was 7th place in women team pursuit), there have been many changes in the National team of Belarus. Now it consists of young athletes, who are trained by young coaches and a new head coach.

Not everything goes the way you want, deficit of experience, knowledge, practices, interpersonal relationships are not easy as well, but as Vadim Krivosheyev said, there has already been some progress, which is very important now to fix.

“At youth and junior competitions, our athletes perform very well, bringing home awards. But they are objectively not ready to show high results in the world’s Elite. However, if we don’t force preparation and don’t demand the impossible from them, then it is likely that our Track riders will perform quite well at the Olympics ", - said Vadim Krivosheyev.

According to the director the National Olympic Reserve Cycling Training Center, at the recent World Championships in Cali, Colombia, the National team has not met targets due to methodological errors of the coaching staff, who failed to bring the cyclists to the highest form for the 2014 World Championships.

The best results of the National team of Belarus in Cali were 10th place of Roman Tishkov in omnium and the same place of Caterina Barazna in scratch.

As the head coach Oleg Logvin declared, the team has now all necessary financial, organizational and methodological assistance of the Ministry of Sports and the federation. The problem is to use it in the proper way.

“We have to establish a strict system of training process control and a clear system of athletes’ selection for international competitions”, - stressed Oleg Logvin. In the near future he is going to visit personally the regions of Belarus in order to have a clear idea of how cycling is developing in the country, what base and human potential we have.

According to Maxim Ryzhenkov, the head coach faces now a very difficult task: to assess objectively the state of affairs in the sport, to create a school for athletes and coaches preparation, to enable everyone to show his best side.

“Real tasks should be assigned and a chance to correct mistakes should be given to young specialists”, - the Assistant of the President told. He also thinks that cycling is insufficiently using the potential of national medicine and science.

Natalia Tsilinskaya supposed that Track cyclists have now some kind of growing problems.

“We have a young team and a young coaching staff. They make mistakes because they learn on the go, because they have not enough experience. As for unreal goals, then maybe that's right to require the impossible ... I was once said: if you are not in Top-3 at the World Championships, then when you come home the track department will be closed. And I came back to the sport one year ago after a four year break. But I finished in Top-3, because I wanted it.

And returning to the performance in Colombia that we recognized unsatisfactory... When I returned home after winning the World Championships and came to my first coach German Khlopikov, he immediately told: "You did wrong. It could be better". We have to be dissatisfied, otherwise we stop in growth," - eight-time World champion shared her opinion.

“Our sport is not so bad. There are good coaches and athletes, an understanding of where and how to go. We need time, patience and great diligence,” – she added.

According to the participants, Minsk Cycling Club created by the Executive committee of the capital may seriously help in attracting additional funding, preparing reserve and developing cycling in Belarus in general.

Alexei Ivanov explained how the club can cooperate with the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, the National Olympic Reserve Cycling Training Center and the Belarus Cycling Federation. According to him, the club expands the possibilities to work in a more effective way with athletes and coaches, including at international competitions. “The club is already running, and we will see results of its activities soon ", - the Vice-president of the federation assured.