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

Dmytro Grabovskyy dies

Category: Cycling

Dmytro GrabovskyyIt is always sad when people pass away. And it's truly chocking when people your own age dies.

A few minutes ago, I read that former under 23 world road race champion Dmytro Grabovskyy has died following a heart attack. He was only 31 years of age.

Grabovskyy won the under 23 men’s road race at the 2005 World Championships. He also became European champion in the time trial discipline that year.

In 2007, he signed with Quick-Step-Innergetic, and two years later he moved to the ISD-Neri team, and rode for them for two years.

However, his pro career was not as successful as his under-23 stint.

He started drinking because of boredom, and came close to killing himself on two occasions.

“After some disappointments with Quick Step I ended up on the wrong path,” he told La Gazzetta Dello Sport in 2011. “I was bored and went after training to the coast to party and to drink. I twice escaped death by alcohol poisoning. But I drank vodka and never used drugs.”

“This turbulent period is over…my life is rehabilitated. Now there’s only water in my refrigerator.”

At the 2010 Tirreno-Adriatico, he finished first in the mountains classification and it seemed like maybe he was back on track. Sadly a serious accident a few months later put an end to his season.

In 2011, he dropped down to Continental level with the ISD-Lampre squad, and he retired at the end of the year.

Lately, he has been working with Giant bicycles and has been racing in Israel in 2016.

Alex Rasmussen retires

Category: Cycling

Alex Rasmussen has decided to retire in late January after the Copenhagen Six Day race.

The 32-year-old has lately concentrated on Six Day races. He has over 30 national titles on both the road and track, and took a silver medal in the team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics. Rasmussen also won gold in the scratch race at the World Championships in 2005. In 2009 he won two worlds titles, the team pursuit and Madison, with Michael Mørkøv.

Making your dreams come true

Category: Cycling

Since I was 18, my dream has been to participate in a triathlon. However, I had to fight hard to make it come true. I was young, had poor self-esteem and my self-confidence in sports was low.

My first step towards participating in a triathlon was to start swimming again. I used to swim when I was younger, and I was pretty good at the time, so returning wasn't a big problem really. I know I could improve further if I joined a swim team, and that will be my future goal. However, so far it hasn't been possible, because of work and the huge renovation of the local swimming pool complex.

Cycling improved a lot after moving back from Tallinn, as I could suddenly use my racer again. I bought my Focus Culebro in September 2013, and it really was the perfect first road bike for me. It behaves like a carbon fiber bike, even though it has an aluminum frame, and it has Ultegra gears. So it really is a nice bike. You can see me participating in a local time trial underneath.

Three years ago, I also started to run. I'm not joking when I say that I could not even run 200 meters before I lost my breath completely. However, nothing is impossible. When I want something, I can do it.

A friend and I decided to make a trip to a recreation area outside of Tallinn. My friend was not exactly used to run either, but found it just as hard as me. So we started to run. 100 m at first, before my friend’s shoelaces needed to be tied again. Then we ran 200 m, walked 100 m, ran 300 m, walked 100 m, ran 400 m, walked 100, and suddenly I saw this sign saying how far we had run/walked, and I decided that we would not stop running before we had finished a full kilometer. So we did.

After that day I can finally run. I don’t really know what happened, but I believe we both learned how to breathe that day.

When I moved back to Sweden a few months later, I continued and have done so ever since. Not saying it has been easy. In reality, continue to run has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I don’t want to give up. I want to continue, because I am proud of proving to myself that I am a runner. In 2015, I participated in my first sprint triathlon, and also an Olympic distance triathlon. And I continued with an Olympic distance again this year. I also participated in my first ever half marathon run, and won the local ladies’ cycling cup (taking one victory and two second places). This year, I would want to improve further. I want to become a stronger and faster swimmer. I will work off my panic to cold seawater. I will work assiduously to become an even better cyclist, and I will not stop fighting when it comes to my running. Before I used to have a group of girls who I ran a lot with, but due to misuse of powers and bad behavior from the head of the runner’s group, most of the girls have stopped training with the group, and personally I feel the need to find a new, friendly group. I like running with others, but I want to be threated right.

Anyway, the Merida triathlon bike is my newest bike purchase. So far, I have not used it so much, as I have had so many other things to do, and currently it is impossible to use it outside, due to the amount of snow and ice. I have to wait for spring, but I hope that we will become good friends.