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International sports holiday: “Baikal cycling marathon” was held in Buryatia

In Buryatia on June 25, the “Baikal cycling marathon” gathered about 200 people, among whom the Mongolian team participated for the first time. Athletes tested their strength in races at seven distances – 260, 200 and 100, as well as 40, 15, 2 and 1 km.

In previous years, foreigners have already taken part in races along the coast of Lake Baikal. The distance was covered by Europeans and Americans who had a rest as tourists, but when they found out about the competition, they found bicycles. Some of them even won prizes.

– It was very nice to hear foreign speech at the starts. The Mongols came to us for the first time. Now China, with which they have a lot to do, is closed. And for them, like all athletes, it is important not to lose shape and compete, – said the director of the “Baikal cycling marathon” Vladimir Gaskov.

As representatives of the support group of Mongolian guests shared, one person covered a distance of 100 km, a 56-year-old foreign participant overcame 40 km and two more tried themselves at 15 km. There were also young athletes – a 5-year-old cyclist showed herself in a 1 km race.

– We have specially arrived from Mongolia. Our 15 athletes participate in different distances. Tomorrow we are already returning home, – said the fan Battsetseg.

In addition to foreign guests, six participants from Chita, two cyclists from Krasnoyarsk, and four athletes from Irkutsk will test their strength. Buryatia was represented by the Russian Railways teams Velotyaga, PE-2 Shenestuy and members of the Velomania community.

– I am participating in the Baikal Bicycle Marathon for the second time. Two years ago I competed at 100 km and took second place. Today the track is good, but in some places it was hard. But, in general, it was relatively easy to ride, – said 66-year-old marathon runner Lev Alsaev, who has been cycling for 5 years and rode 100 km under number 178. – If I’m healthy, I’ll go next year. I believe that sports should be practiced at any age.

Note that the oldest cyclist is 86 years old, and the youngest is 5 years old. Many young athletes have not competed in such races before.

– This is my first cycling marathon, before that I participated in skiing competitions. Today I drove 16 km. At the end of the track there was sand and holes, but the timing was not bad, – 11-year-old biathlete Dmitry answered the questions.

Among the marathon runners of retirement age, there are many participants who have covered serious distances, one of them is Alexander Chirkov, who, from his school in Ust-Barguzin, became interested in cross-country skiing and devoted his whole life to it.

As he noted, in recent years, young people have been actively interested in competitions, but veterans of athletics are not far behind in this. The athlete worked in education for 42 years – first as a physical education teacher, and after 16 years as the director of the Verkhneangarsk school in the village of Kumora.

– Today I participated for the first time at a distance of 200 km. Passed in 7 hours and 41 minutes. I really liked everything. The road is great! I will definitely go next year. I wish everyone to go in for sports, especially cycling, – advised the 86-year-old athlete Alexander Chirkov, who came specially from the Severobaikalsky region of the republic.

Many riders decided to try their hand, test themselves and their technique, and Valentin Blinnikov was among them. He became interested in sports at school, where he participated in cross-country skiing and took bike training every summer.

– I drove 100 km in 3 hours and 9 minutes. What is ready – on that and drove. The track is good, but the last three km are difficult – I had to ride on the sand on a road bike, plus a long climb towards the end. At the start there were different categories from road to mountain, after that they were divided into groups. At the very beginning, I already knew with whom I would go, so we went the distance. The weather was very pleasing, although it was hot in places, – said cyclist Valentin Blinnikov, who completed the marathon for the fourth time.

It should be noted that in 2022 the competitions were included in the calendar of events of the Ministry of Sports, as well as in the calendar of the Cycling Federation of Buryatia. The government of the republic supported the organizers, so the safety of the participants was provided by firefighters, doctors and the traffic police – more than 10 cars and 50 employees in full dress.

– This is a real celebration of sports! Moreover, today we have prepared prizes for young participants. The Ministry of Sports of Buryatia financed the award to the winners. For the first time, individual design medals were developed for the cycling marathon, on which a map of the republic and Baikal were placed. Also, the winners will be awarded certificates, – explained Vladimir Gaskov.

The organizers hope that next year the budget of the event will be increased to 2 million rubles, the estimate has already been submitted. Republican cycling competitions have long reached the all-Russian level, the next step is international, where the achievements of the winners will be celebrated with serious awards.

As the director explained, the cycling marathon will be the third in Buryatia. Ski races on ice and the Pure Baikal race are already being held on a regular basis.

– There are enough cycling events in Buryatia, most of them in Ulan-Ude. There are about 1000 amateurs and professionals of this sport in the republic. The community is quite large, so we dream of collecting them all. We hope this will work out in 2023, – Vladimir Gaskov revealed plans for the future.

Recall that in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic, the cycling marathon was not officially held. But last year, racing enthusiasts met privately and rode 100km wearing masks while maintaining a distance of more than two meters.

Source From: MK

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