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15 Feb 2014

TOP-8 Belarusian sportsmen in 2013. VASILY KIRIYENKO, cyclist

Vasily Kiriyenko
We sums up the year 2013 with publications dedicated to Belarusian sports heroes, the best of which will be determined by public vote. Kirill Klimenkov in the fourth article of our publication series tells about a simple guy Vasiliy Kiriyenko, who from poor Belarusian cycling school got to the best team in the world. But he still cares about the future of this country.

Belarusian cyclist Vasily Kiriyenko


"What are you interested in except of cycling?" – before the start of the season the press attache of the "Sky" team has asked each sportsman of thirty riders this question. Skiing, gadgets, hunting – range of interests of the multinational team was predictably wide. Extremely concentrated during races Vasiliy Kiriyenko was also serious in this informal blitz.

I would like to participate in the development of my country, – said the athlete. – To be honest, I'm worried about the future of my children and my nation.

Coming to Belarus he does not hesitate to clarify the reasons for his worry, telling about officials’ under the table payments, about illegal salaries and high prices of government procurement. Successful performances allowed Vasiliy to buy a house abroad, attracted the attention of the top foreign club, and it seems that Kiriyenko should not care about all our problems, but for some reason he does. Probably because he knows what it is – to climb out of the Belarusian indifference not due to, but in spite of circumstances.

Vasily Kiriyenko

Kiriyenko was born in Rechitza thirty-two years ago. It’s the ordinary town in Polesye a little larger than average. Locals are displeased to have to tell about sports achievements: in the local football club Vasiliy Baranov once started his career. Plus Boris Gorovoj and Miroslav Romashchenko were spotted. Such stories are not educative for grandchildren. But about Kiriyenko they tell. And proudly write in the comments. There should be a star to steer by in every town: "If you work a lot – you’ll do great in life like Vasya". Kiriyenko showed on his example how to get from CYSS in Rechitsa to the best team in the world and change an old Kharkov "Sport" to an ultramodern "Pinarello".

But as far back as seven years ago Kiriyenko finished the season in humble Latvian "Rietumu Bank" participating in semiprofessional racing. There was no team in Belarus, and it is unclear when it will be. The most talented Belarusians are noticed by foreign clubs, and other athletes being equal top-clubs give preference to the local racers. The rest had to look for something else to do in life. Kiriyenko was spotted only at twenty-six years, when many sportsmen already finish career. He was noticed by the Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, who decided to spend the money for creating his own cycling team. From this moment Vasiliy’s career developed successfully: "Giro" stage victory, invitation to a strong Spanish "Movistar", debut at "Tour de France", world championship medal, and finally, invitation to a victorious "Sky".

Vasily Kiriyenko

Winner of the "Tour de France" Chris Froome and his faithful assistants – Vasiliy Kiriyenko and Konstantin Sivtsov, photo: Team Sky

"Sky" – is something like "Barcelona" football team two years ago, when Messi and the company were smashing everyone down. Role of the Argentinian in cycling team takes Christopher Froome, who won "Tour de France" by a wide margin. Kiriyenko and Sivtsov – are Xavi and Iniesta. Before decisive attack of a British they destroy all rivals teams’ constructions, release Froom from rough work and help him to get the decisive kilometers over in an ideal position. His work Vasya does with a straight face and concentrated look, that’s why British commentators got Kiriyenko a new nickname.

Listen, I'm looking attentively at Kiriyenko and begin to understand who he is look like, – one said to another on air.

– Yes, his manner of work provokes to various associations, – the colleague kept up the ball.

– No, I have one very concrete association – Robocop.

– Oh, really. Spitting image! But Kiriyenko is cooler.

Vasily "Robocop" Kiriyenko
Vasily "Robocop" Kiriyenko

2013 began for Kiriyenko not very successful. In March when he was in the group head, he fell on a wet downhill of one of "Paris - Nice" stages.

On the first mountain passes of "Tour de France" for Froom’s victory Vasya pull out much strength so he could not stay within allotted time on the ninth stage. As it turned out, in his top form Kiriyenko was in the second half of the season. First, he helped the "Sky" to come fourth in the team race in "Vuelta", and then began to help the Colombian club leaders – Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Uran. By the third week it became clear that South Americans didn’t make the grade, and management gave Kiriyenko free rein. Vasiliy chose the eighteenth stage to attack: one hundred eighty six kilometers from Burgos to Pena Kabarga mount. Kiriyenko and fourteen other racers attacked from the first meters of distance, and gradually, mountain by mountain, the number of cyclists decreased. Before last pull uphill Vasiliy have set such a pace that he overcame finishing six kilometers already alone, if you can define "aloneness" as a crowd of thousands screaming Spanish fans. So British commentators were lavish of compliments to Belarusian – "amazing", "superb", "fabulous".

This Kiriyenko’s victory was named one of the most beautiful in the history of the club by the management of "Sky". But already in just a week and a half he won a bronze medal with Kostya Sivtsov in the World Championship team race. Of the thirty riders, each of which – a world star, "Sky" could only choose six, and two places were given to Belarusians.

The season ended for Kiriyenko on September 25 when a race with separate start at the World Championship was held. Vasya was the fourth and lost only to world champions and Olympic champions.

Vasily Kiriyenko


Kiriyenko’s dream is to change Belarus, but it is not time yet. For the next two years "Sky" has signed a contract with a reliable Belarusian. But he had already changed his native Rechytsa. There everybody just knows that wherever you were born, intention, talent and hard work can make you one of the best in the world.


Kirill Klimenkov
TUT.by

1 comments:

  1. Melitina Stanuta is a pride of Belarusia. The no.of medals she has won is completely unbeatable by other.She is such a talented and versatile sports woman who makes her country proud every where in the world.

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