My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Lagutin changes nationality

Category: Cycling

Sergey Lagutin signed for the Rusvelo team for the 2014 season. Now he has also revealed that he will ride under a Russian licence instead of an Uzbek one. I'm not surprised.

Lagutin is a seven-time Uzbekistan national champion and won the under-23 world championships road race in Hamilton in 2003.

As Vacansoleil-DCM folds, Lagutin had to search for a new team. At first, he hoped to find a place on Katusha for 2014. But it was not possible, and instead he signed a contract with Katusha's associated Pro Continental team, Rusvelo.

“I was in contact with two teams and both of them asked me to wait until September but I wasn’t happy with that kind of situation,” Lagutin told R-Sport. “But I also spoke with Viatcheslav Ekimov, who told me that there wasn’t any space at that time at Katusha, and advised me to contact Renat Khamidulin at Rusvelo.”

He felt that he connected with Khamidulin and he eventually signed with the team.

“Renat invited me to visit the team’s base on Lake Garda and made a mini presentation for me. It was a very professional approach and I realised that I was not going to feel like a foreigner as I did on the Dutch teams, where priority was given to local riders.” Lagutin said. “At the Rusvelo team, I’ll be treated as an athlete with experience and I will have a chance to contribute to the project.”

I don't know why, but when riding for Vacansoleil and earlier Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, he somehow has seemed insecure. But when hanging around with Russians, like in Navigators and now in Rusvelo, he seems a lot more confident, and also happier.

The 2013 season surely was no good at all, and he said that it was the worst of his career.

“My shape was good but the results just never came,” said Lagutin.

“I hope Rusvelo can get invitations to WorldTour races. Personally, I love the Tour of the Basque Country, the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour of Poland, but the main goal for me next season will be the Russian national championships.”
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