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Artem Zakharov named the tandem of leaders of Astana Team for the Tour of Almaty-2018

27 September

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Artem Zakharov named the tandem of leaders of Astana Team for the Tour of Almaty-2018

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Stage 1 of the sixth edition of the Southern Capital’s cycling race starts already this Saturday, September 29.

Bronze medalist of the Asian Games in track racing, rider of Astana cycling team Artem Zakharov spoke of the goals for the Tour of Almaty

- Everyone noticed that Alexey Lutsenko isn’t in, so we will have to defend the title of the Tour of Almaty winner without him. We will have two leaders, so we’ll try to help them win our home race. I hope the weather will be favourable and the fans will have a lot of pleasant impressions from the race.

- Can you unveil, who will be leading Astana in the Tour of Almaty?

- Leader number one is Davide Villella, number two is Luis León Sánchez who has recovered from his trauma and says he missed big wins.

- How do you see your goals for the race?

- Let's see how the first day unfolds. Because the first day must be full of high dynamics, there will be many attacks, the riders will make attempts to break. Just as much as our Kazakhstani riders who are eager to excel at home race, and will try to show who is the boss here. Competition will be strong. For me personally, everything will depend on instructions we receive from the sports director of the team.

- The Olympics in Tokyo is a little more than two years away, but your preparations are fully advancing, aren’t they?

- Yes, track cycling selection for the Olympics will begin already this autumn and one has to earn as many points as possible to win a license. This autumn, after the Tour of Almaty, I will take the Tour of Turkey, and a couple of days after that there will be a World Championship in France.

- At the Olympics in Brazil, you were in the top 10. Surely, you’re going to improve your result at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, aren’t you?

- Something went wrong back in Rio. On the other hand, I gained experience and I know my mistakes. I will prepare for Tokyo, focus on fighting for medals. Of course, one needs to bear in mind that track cycling selection is fairly tough, you always need to keep in the top at World Cups, World Championships, because only 18 athletes get to the Olympics. In sum, things aren’t that simple.

Let's remind that the Tour of Almaty-2018 cycling race will be held this weekend, September 29-30. Four previous editions of the Southern Capital race were won by Alexey Lutsenko, who is defending Kazakhstan’s honour at the World Championship in Austria these days.