Anthem of Belarus sounded again at Minsk Arena
Last years the Belarusian capital hosted a few major track cycling events. Minsk attracted again the attention of the cycling world: the international track cycling competition Gran Prix Minsk 2014 were held with success at the Minsk Arena velodrome on September 1-2, 2014.
The event was organized by the Belarusian Cycling Federation, the Minsk City Executive Committee, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus and the Minsk Cycling Club.
National teams and clubs from six countries accepted the invitation of the Belarusian side: Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia delegated their riders. Regardless of the performance the guests were pleased with the organization and level of the event, which confirmed the declared UCI 1st class.
For the Belarusian team the Grand Prix Minsk was more than successful. Belarus won five gold medals and took first place in the unofficial team rankings. The Belarusian athletes collected in 12 events 5 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals. It should be noted that almost half of theses prizes belongs to the riders of Minsk Cycling Club, general partner of the competition.
The leader of the club Tatsiana Sharakova showed a spectacular performance at the event claiming the victory in one of the toughest track cycling disciplines – omnium. During two days of the event the cyclist didn’t give a doubt of her superiority even for a moment and finished first in the GC with a significant advantage over Lucy Zaleska from Czech Republic.
It was third podium for Sharakova at the UCI highest category event over the past two weeks – in Cottbus Tatsiana was third, in Prostejov – second. This positive trend is very optimistic before the forthcoming Elite European Championships in October.
The rider of Minsk Cycling Club Aleh Ahiyevich calimed two spots on the podium at the 2014 Grand Prix Minsk. The first day of the competition he finished first in the scratch ahead of his team-mate Raman Ramanau and the Ukrainian Taras Shevchuk. His performance in the omnium was also not bad. Till the final race Aleh kept the chances for the overall success, but was only third in the general classification behind Olivier Beer (Switzerland) and Frantisek Sisr (Czech Republic). Another representative of Minsk Cycling Club in this event Raman Tsishkou was close to win a medal as well – forth position.
The performance of Artsiom Zaitsau in the keirin also worth mentioning. The sprinter of Minsk Cycling Club qualified quite unexpectedly to the main final, where he fought against five Russian riders and won silver. His team-mates Uladzislau Novik and Yauhen Veramchuk were only 9th and 10th. In the women’s keirin Minsk Cycling Club was represented by Nadzeya Svirkova, who finished on sixth position.
The Belarusian women’s national team won an impressive collection of awards. The Belarusian riders collected all the medals in the scratch: Ina Savenka topped the podium, Marina Shmayankova was second, Volha Masyukovich – third. Savenka was without rivals in the points race leaving behind the Czech rider Jarmila Machacova and Marta Teleschuk from Ukraine. And in the omnium Ina Savenka, 2014 U-23 European Championships silver medalist in this event, was only third, what proves the high level of opponents.
The results of the juniors were very optimistic and showed that the Belarusian track cycling has a good future. Yauheni Karaliok claimed gold in the scratch, Eric Burtsau was second in this event.
Summing up the Grand Prix Minsk first edition, we can praise their high level and consistency. Such competitions are necessary and very important, because they demonstrate that track disciplines are developing in Belarus, and the country has riders able to compete at the highest level. We hope that Grand Prix Minsk will become a traditional event and find its place in the UCI international calendar. And the anthem of Belarus will sound again and again at the Minsk Arena velodrome announcing new victories of our riders.