Brilliant wins inspire optimism

Belarusians capture two gold medals at World Road Cycling Championship, in Richmond

Belarusians capture two gold medals at World Road Cycling Championship, in Richmond

Alena Omelyusik won the team race, while Vasily Kirienko became world champion for his individual race, with separate start. The President congratulated both athletes, saying, “Your confident performance in American Richmond has confirmed the glory of Belarusian sport.”

Vasily Kirienko has waited more than a year to achieve his championship title

Mr. Lukashenko wished the national team’s sportsmen good health, success and the conquering of Olympic summits.

It has taken several years for Kirienko to attain success, and his win is a unique event for Belarusian road cycling. Vasily is the only such Belarusian champion in the history of our country’s independence. His gold medal brings him world recognition and fame, alongside such cycling legends as Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin, Tom Dumoulin and Fabian Cancellara.

Vasily covered 53.5km in Richmond, in a time of one hour, two minutes and 29 seconds: nine seconds ahead of Italy’s Adriano Malori (who was placed second). Third place went to French Jérôme Coppel. Kirienko has, as a result, won a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Early in his race, our champion set the pace, leaving behind all the usual favourites: Tony Martin, Tom Dumoulin, Taylor Phinney and Rohan Dennis. By the middle of his distance, Vasily’s advantage stood at around 30 seconds, although Malori began to gradually catch up. However, it was too late for him to win.

2015 has been the most successful year in the career of the 34 year old, who, after the World Championship, won gold at the European Games in Baku, and won a leg of the Giro d’Italia. Speaking of his Richmond victory, Vasily notes, “I cannot find words to describe how long it has taken me to attain this result. I’ve spent so many hours on a bicycle, training for this day. An individual race requires a thorough approach and attention to aerodynamics. It’s been vital to find my own pace and balance, and I’ve succeeded. I want to thank all members of Team Sky. I planned my race jointly with them and, owing to my preparations with this club, I’ve managed to defeat strong rivals. I devote my victory to my team.”

Alena Omelyusik

Vasily is among the few cyclists in the world who train both on the track and road. In 2008, he won the World Cycling Championship and then performed brilliantly at the Giro d’Italia, winning one leg and coming second twice.

Alena Omelyusik also deserves our pride, having helped German Velocio-SRAM team win the world championship title, across a distance of 38.8km. In Richmond, her team finished in 47 minutes, and 35.72 seconds. Second and third places went to Dutch teams: Boels-Dolmans (6.66 seconds behind the winner) and Rabobank-Liv Woman (56.12 seconds behind). Yelena was also placed 8th in her individual race, winning a ticket to the 2016 Olympics for Belarus.

By Kirill Karin
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