The team's chief objective will be to train for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Presentation of the Marathon-Tula Cycling Team took place today at Tula cycling racetrack, one of the oldest in the world.
Taking part in the event were Tula Oblast Governor Alexei Dyumin, Marathon Group President and Russian Cycling Federation supervisory board member Alexander Vinokurov, Russian Cycling Federation President Vyacheslav Ekimov, sports veterans, meritorious masters of sport, and Olympic medalists.
At a ceremony in the Tula cycling racetrack museum, Tula Oblast Governor Alexei Dyumin and Marathon Group President Alexander Vinokurov signed a cooperation agreement to support race cycling under which the company will sponsor the Tula cycling team.
The Olympics reserve school in Tula has been training promising young sportsmen and women in Russia's national youth team for more than three years as they win medals at European and world championships. To enable sportspeople capable of competing at world level and successfully performing at the 2020 Olympics to make further progress, it is important to provide additional funding for the training and competition processes.
"Being a supervisory board member and a serious racing cyclist myself, I am well aware of the difficulties that regional federations face. I firmly believe that directly focused support and the development of regional cycling centers will bring back our country's former glory in the sport. The Tula Oblast leadership is acutely interested in cycling because sporting traditions here are strong, so I have confidence in the team's success," Alexander Vinokurov said.
"We try to develop all types of sport, particularly ones where we have traditionally been strong. One of these happens to be cycling," Alexei Dyumin said. "The signing of the agreement to provide support for our Marathon-Tula team will give it stable financial backing and set the stage for proper training. The team was created with sights on performing in Russian and international competitions and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is important, both for our oblast prestige and, of course, for making cycling popular among its inhabitants, especially young people."
"This project is consistent with today's vision of how cycling should develop. The effectiveness of this format has already been tried and tested. The club is responsible for creating the team, sets the goals, and is answerable to the sponsor for meeting those goals. All western countries operate according to that system. The club system is the way to go, but unfortunately the number of teams we have like this is small," Russian Cycling Federation President Vyacheslav Ekimov said.
In 2017 most of the funds will go toward training practices and participation in international track and road racing competitions as a regional club to let the cyclists show what they can do. Based on the results of the Russian track cycling championship this August in St. Petersburg, Alexander Vinokurov will join Tula Oblast specialists and Russian Cycling Federation experts to decide whether to register a continental track team (a tempo or sprint race team) and who will be in it. The team could also include cyclists from other regions. The team's primary purpose is to train for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Tula Oblast has been a center for the development of cycling in Russia for more than 120 years. The famous Tula cycling racetrack has been a breeding ground for great cyclists, and it maintains its tradition of training champions to this day. The names of great cyclists from Tula such as Olga Slyusareva, Sergey Kopylov, Vitaly Petrakov, Lyubov Kochetova, Tamara Garkushina, Oxana Grishina, Sergey Tereschenkov, Anastasia Voynova, and many others have entered world cycling history.