Getting to Know Baza Part 2

    • Filled in News in English 7 Апрель 2010 в 10:16, author: msquared
    • Views: 9 460.

    Photo © by Emmanuel Isnard

    Photo: Baza in his National Champion jersey at Tour of Luxembourg

    Baza talks about the 2009 season

    From "The Secret of Assan Bazayev’s Success" by Zhanar Utesheva, sports.kz, July 2009

    Assan, tell us about the [2009] team?

    We have a scratch team. We have a lot of foreigners, mainly the English-speaking. Ex-racers of Team Discovery who came with Bruyneel. The Spaniards talk more among themselves. We also try to communicate separately with each other. Lance, Leiphiemer, the Swiss hold a commonality. In terms of riders, there is an atmosphere of normalcy, there are no conflicts, all are very friendly.

    Communicate in English?

    Yes, basically, we talk in English. I know Spanish. When I signed a contract with Liberty Seguros, I studied six months of Spanish language courses. So that I can explain.

    The goal that you set, does not coincide with the objectives of your leadership?

    Yes, it happens. Here at the Tour of Luxembourg there was an incident when I was wearing the yellow leader’s jersey for the third stage. In principle, I could win this race. But the team did not help me. Only Kazakhstanians – Dmitriev, Raimbek, Iglinsky helped. But foreigners did not support me.

    There was even a situation that we were not paid a salary, although the federation assured us the money was available. Our manager told Swiss rider Gregory Rast that the leadership says not to wear the jersey advertising the logo of Astana. After two days, I wear this jersey. I asked about advertising, and I said that we are bound to have advertising. Perhaps this also influenced a somewhat strained relationship with Bruyneel. The next day, the foreigners did not communicate with me.

    As for the race itself?

    [stage 3, Baza in yellow] You know, even at 30 km when I fell, in principle, I could catch up. As you recall, there was rain, and I fell on the turn. It was reported on race radio that Assan Bazayev returns to the peleton without any problems. I could see for myself there was an upswing in tempo that I could not avoid and Andreas Kloden set the pace. It is transmitted immediately, that I am attacking Andreas Kloden. The scandal was – it turns out that in the same team you cannot compete for the race win. Paradox.

    In general, are such situations often observed in cycling?

    Cycling – very scandalous sport. In general, the entire great sport – it is politics. Doping control is used for their own purposes. In cycling, each for himself, one was caught - clap the hands, the rest are white and fluffy. For example, take Fofonov. This is all artificially created. He was dismissed from the team due to rumors of doping. Then a month later – sorry, Dmitri Fofonov, we were mistaken. A reputation was left and the contract lost. I also recently had an incident, I was suspended for two weeks. They do something as stupid as possible. Every day we fill in the online diary. There, in a paragraph you need to specify your location, hours, and you should be there in this hour. They can reach you to verify. If they do not reach you - sorry. They called me and came at night. I passed doping control, then daytime has arrived again. I saw that they had called me again and I hadn’t answered. Well, it’s just … this all so ridiculous. Do not even think that this will turn out well.

    What are the peaks not yet conquered, which you want to conquer?

    Not yet conquered which could be a showing – Tour of Luxembourg. In principle, to show myself well at the spring classics. Because I was granted the opportunity to ride for myself. There was no working for someone else.

    Do you feel confident in the racing?

    On our team it is difficult to demonstrate, because many teams cannot afford such riders as Armstrong, Leipheimer, Kloden. I would be happy to be riding for a team where there are few of these famous stars, where you can show yourself and your abilities. Maxim Iglinsky rode for an Italian team and then Milram. His manager warned him before he left Astana [the city] what it takes to always be a leader in the team. Indeed, so it was. It is no touching, no strain, no one knew what it is to work. It is to prepare for any race – just roll a race to win the next one. In our team it is very difficult. You arrive at a race with our team of five leaders and a few more. Astana always took the top places, and everywhere you want to work. Work – is to save the leaders’ strength. So, it is not that you want to save power anywhere because you are going need it to race. You work for a particular leader, and your ambitions do not count.

    And so what is your type of race?

    I do have a preference. I like to ride the spring classics. Of course, the Grand Tours add very much to professional development. But for myself I prefer the shorter races, the Tours of Luxembourg and Switzerland. 7-10 days maximum. And most of all I like the classic race. I am not a pure sprinter. For winning sprints cyclists need 80-90 kg, to chase at the finish. Up a mountain they feel bad. I have good uphill sense. When it comes to 30 people I can travel with the peleton.

    Is it prestigious to have the Champion of Kazakhstan jersey?

    Of course. It is prestigious to wear the Champion jersey for any country. For example, the Italian champion is almost equivalent to the world champion.

    Have you had proposals from the other cycling teams?

    World crisis has touched cycling. Teams cut the budget, a lot of riders without contracts. But I think that our team did not find this problem. The question is, how much to pay? No one pays more than Astana.

    But there is a difference – to represent your own country’s team versus another?

    Oh, look, I am Kazakh, riding for the Kazakh team, but is just a question of whether I can win the race. The team is set up for the leaders, Contador and Armstrong. And if the emphasis was placed on our athletes, and they would have won – it would be more important for the country, for the fans. We focused on the global public relations and not on supporting our riders. Nobody explained that does not work.

    Isn’t it a pity that only one Kazakh will ride the Giro?

    Andrey Zeits. Such tactics guide the club. Although the original contract was that at least two Kazakh cyclists will go.

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