Kolobnev admits he’s tempted by job offer outside cycling
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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kolobnev admits he’s tempted by job offer outside cycling

by VeloNation Press at 5:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Russian rider has good opportunity, but also has several unachieved goals in the sport

Alexander KolobnevAt 31 years of age, double world championship silver medallist Alexandr Kolobnev should have several more years left ahead in his career, yet the Russian has admitted that he has been tempted to retire early and to shift to a completely different role.

His current contract with Katusha runs until 2014 but he is currently deciding whether or not to stay in the sport due to an appealing job opportunity he has been given. “It is a Centre for Sports Modernization in the city of Novgorod-Nizhiniy, about 250 kilometers from Moscow,” he told Pedalier. “It would be a place where athletes prepare to represent their country in a world championship or Olympic Games. It is something I've been wanting do for some time and the opportunity has now arisen to do so.”

However the dilemma for him is that the time requirements and intensity of the job would mean that he would have to retire from the peloton. That gives him pause for thought, but so too the fact that he may have a limited window of opportunity. As a result he’s somewhat torn.

“There is a chance that if I do not take this, I lose it,” he said. “I think one must be a director of his own life and I like the idea of creating something new, for the people, something like Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc.”

Still, as much as the idea of that appeals, he also knows that he has opportunities in cycling too, and ambitions yet to be fulfilled. “Maybe I will have a good season in 2013 and I will want to continue in 2014. I think about this project but also think of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, in which I would like to participate. I would also miss not having got a victory in the world championships.”

Kolobnev’s career has had several stressful periods of late, with a positive test for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide causing him to be ejected from the 2011 Tour de France. Last February he was eventually given a green light to race by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who ruled that the substance was taken inadvertently in a product recommended to him by his doctor. He had been suffering from the condition of varix dilatation, a chronic vascular disease, for the past 15 years, and the diuretic was contained in the product.

The CAS panel found that Kolobnev was using the product for medical reasons and not for performance enhancement, and decided to uphold the earlier Russian Cycling Federation decision not to suspend him. The UCI had sought to have a longer ban imposed.

More recently, he was accused by the Swiss news magazine L’lllustre and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera of selling the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège to Alexander Vinokourov. The UCI is investigating the issue.

Kolobnev is currently waiting to learn if his Katusha team will be given a WorldTour licence, after previously being denied by the UCI.

“The only thing that has no solution is death,” he said philosophically, reasoning that the team losing its current CAS appeal would complicate things, but not destroy them. “For me there is no problem if the team stays in the category of Pro Continental. I am continuing to train and my calendar remains the same: Algarve, Tirreno Adriatico and to prepare well for the Classics. I would like to go back to the Tour de France, but as things are I can only plan my calendar until May.”

Still, he’s determined to push on and to race as well as he can this year. Doing his utmost and achieving the best results he can will then mean he makes a fully informed decision about whether he will remain in the sport or if he will do something completely different.


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