Rybalkin, Shalunov and Sveshnikov RusVelo Key Signings
RusVelo professional continental team has a pleasure to announce the signing of three talented young Russian riders capable of playing key roles in different types of races. Alexey Rybalkin, Evgeny Shalunov and Kirill Sveshnikov are coming from the Lokosphinx (Saint Petersburg), the team headed by Alexander Kuznetsov, famous for coaching and directing dosens of Olympic and World Champions, most of them on the track.
Alexey Rybalkin is 21 years old. A climber and a GC rider, this season he made top-20 in the gruelling UCI 2.1 Tour of Portugal. The 3rd place in the Tour de l’Avenir and top-5 in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon shouldn’t be forgotten either.
Evgeny Shalunov, 23, allrounder, is the winner of 1.1 Italian classic Trofeo Matteotti and 2.1 Vuelta Ciclista Comunidad de Madrid this year.
Kirill Sveshnikov, 23, is one of Russia’s strongest track endurance events specialists, he took the points race bronze in 2013 elite World championships, topping it up with multiple Junior and U-23 European titles and World cup wins.
RusVelo team manager Renat Khamidulin didn’t hide his high hopes connected with the newcomers:
“All the three riders have come through thick and thin, as a product of a very demanding and rigorous system of Alexander Kuznetsov. RusVelo’s leading sprinter on the road Roman Maikin, multiple Russian champion and the top time trialist Artem Ovechkin, the experienced pursuit specialist Alexander Serov have all graduated from the same school. So we know the riders leave St Petersburg ready to cope with an enormous workload, up to three weeks of a Grand Tour.
Signing Alexey Rybalkin we continue to build up a solid group of climbers; together with Sergey Firsanov and Alexander Foliforov they will make a force to count with. Rybalkin was always visible all through his espoir period of the career, he’s grown up and ready to deal with the men, you could see it in the Tour of Portugal. Working on the 2016 race calendar, we’ll make the best of giving this trio a maximum opportunity of showing their strength in the mountains.
Evgeny Shalunov is a rider of a great promise, nobody knows how high he can get as yet. He is a good time trialist, he can climb, sprint, you name it. Trofeo Matteotti was an acid test for him, you can’t win there by chance leaving all the ambitious Italians behind.
“Kirill Sveshnikov is born to ride a bike” – I’ve heard these words a lot of times. He is a natural talent, his technical skills are something you don’t see in modern cycling ever so often. And he is really fast. 4’17” in 4 km speak for themselves. His main focus this coming season will be Olympics on the track, but I see his great prospects on the road as well.
We’ll give these riders a unique chance, I’m not exaggerating saying this. There are quite a few teams with a good calendar, but few of them are ready to give a newcomer an opportunity to try his legs as a leader. As to RusVelo, we are ready to do this. We are not going to push aside our established leaders like Maikin and Firsanov, we are sure there will be enough room for everyone to show what he is capable of. And then the road will tell after all.