Athletics Sports

“I do this not for the applause and medals’

Six years after his olympic title from London afzwaaide as a professional cyclist is Alexander Vinokoerov on the eve of the preliminary highlight of his second sporting career: the Ironman of Hawaii.

“I do this not for the applause and medals’

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Six years after his olympic title from London afzwaaide as a professional cyclist is Alexander Vinokoerov on the eve of the preliminary highlight of his second sporting career: the Ironman of Hawaii.

“I do this not for the applause and medals’

Triathlon

Maarten Delvaux

KonaAleksandr Vinokoerov comes in short pants and flip-flops aangesjokt in the bar at the Royal Kona Resort. ‘Only the stress ici“, sounds relaxing. Vacation mode, so it seems. But the razor-sharp gelaatsstrekken and the toned legs let there be no misunderstanding about it: Vino is no less than 11,000 kilometers from Astana to The Big Island traveled to the tourist to go hang out. The proud sportsman of yesteryear wants to show that he is also on his forty-five still not worn out.

Alexander, what do you focus say. There seems to be hardly a difference with six years ago?

“In August be the scale 72 kilograms. I weighed 70 kilograms on the day that I have the olympic road race won. Just as is my body fat percentage to five percent. So I am not far off. In August I have a short hoogtestage done in Livigno and the Stelvio I could in the wheel of Rafal Majka. That was a few weeks later thirteenth in the Vuelta.’

You’re not the first rider who, after his career in the triathlon. How did you get it rolled?

“In 2015 called the prime minister of Kazakhstan me and said: Listen Vino, I want to be an Ironman to do. I had no idea what that was. He has explained to me and I have him then replied: If you want to do, then I mee.’ A year later, we have put together our first triathlon on the olympic distance (a quarter triathlon at) done. Thereafter followed a few races on the half-distance. It all went very smoothly. So it was this year it is time for the real work: a full Ironman.’

And it was immediately a price: a second place in your age group in the Ironman of Copenhagen and corresponding ticket for the world CHAMPIONSHIPS in Hawaii.

“My body has never hurt so much to have done if after the end of the Ironman of Copenhagen. What I felt, I took no course ever felt’

‘Advance I had hoped to a time of 9 hours and 30 minutes. It was 9 hours and 4 minutes. When I came over the finish line came, they said to me that I was also the national record of Kazakhstan had been lost. Ah bon, c’est sympa, I thought. I have no second doubt to my ticket to Hawaii to books.’

You had in 2012, just with sportpensioen. Why do you put yourself in hell on your forty-five, still?

‘Indeed, there are a lot of people that ask. In the championships I have won everything there is to win: classics, stage races, the Olympic Games. What do I have to prove? The answer is simple: nothing. I sport not for the medals or applause. I just want to try something new, my body to test. Maybe I am addicted to sport. I spoke yesterday with Laurent Jalabert, who takes here for the third time now part. Champions are so into each other, surely?’

Jurgen Van den Broeck and since this year also on the triathlon deposited. He was swimming in the mass in an Ironman is harder than cycling in the peloton.

“If you’re not used to with so many people at the same time to swim, you are indeed not at ease in the water. But outsiders, who see what is going on in the cycling peloton crazy, will also think that riders are crazy. Swimming is my weak part. I hope Saturday is not drowning in wild ocean. I really fear for, that is survival. Literally. Once in the water is a hive there is only one thing in my head: Like a few minutes. You can use your bike to jump and it is your turn to be the rest pain to do.’

Create once and for all an end to the eternal debate. Now, what is the heaviest type of sport: cycling or triathlon?

Alexander Vinokoerov: “What have I to prove? The answer is simple: nothing. I just want to try something new, my body to test. Maybe I am addicted to sport.’ epa

“My body has never hurt so much to have done if after the end of the Ironman of Copenhagen. What I felt in my legs, I do no race ever felt. On the other hand, it is but one day. And then you have weeks of time to rest. In the Tour the France you need to three weeks at a stretch is full to the bin. That is still another story.’

Can an athlete that is as much won in his career Saturday in Hawaii are satisfied with a distant pride of place in his age group?

‘If I succeed to after 9 hours and 15 minutes to get inside I stand on according to me on the podium in my age group (45-49 years, red.). And who knows, I may even be the fastest bike of all participants drop. In Copenhagen I cycled at least as fast as the pros. But don’t stress. If ever there was a full platoon you have hunted during the Olympic Games, you are not nervous.’

A dilemma to end with: to be world champion in your age group in Hawaii, or a rider of the Astana team that this weekend’s Tour of Lombardy win?

“Let us just all two do. That would still be sympathetic, right?”

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