Christine Kahane’s Vuelta Diary: Hello from Sevilla

    • Filled in News in English 28 Август 2010 в 6:52, author: Paolo
    • Views: 16 779.


    Hello to all Kazakh supporters of Astana Cycing Team. As some of you don’t know us yet, I am introducing ourselves.

    All photos by Kahane

    We are a dynamic Parisian retired couple. We have two children and two adorable grand-children who we very often take care of. I am a French born, from Russian-American parents, and my husband Roger, an ex-electronics engineer, is English, from Austrian-born parents, so we are quite international and between the two of us manage to get around in various languages. I worked my whole professional life as a legal assistant in a large international law firm until I was struck with cancer and had to quit a job which I loved at a rather early age.

    In 2001, I was undergoing a tough chemo treatment in a Paris hospital. It was my third recurrence in five years, and I was not very motivated to carry on. It was a hot July day and no air conditioning in my gloomy room when, to take my mind off that awful drip that felt like it was poisoning my whole body, I switched on the TV set, and suddenly nothing mattered anymore around me. Lance Armstrong was on the sreen.

    Добавлю от редакции астанафанс - помимо увлечения вело, Кристин и Роджер также занимаются русским народным хором! В этом году вместе с хором они совершили большую поездку от Астрахани вверх по Волге!

    I saw for the first time this cancer survivor who was riding a bicycle in the most difficult sports event in the world, elegant, ethereal, and I forgot my pain, my treatment, my illness.

    His example gave me a second chance. From this day I started a new life. I got better and better and decided to devote myself -soon followed by my husband who was already a cycling lover- to cycling.

    As the years went by, and I made many friends among riders, I started following them from one team to another, according to events and to their transfers.

    For the last ten years, when we have not been needed to take care of our grand-children, Roger and I have been travelling to s many races in Europe, in order to encourage our riders and write reports for all their supporters who don’t have the opportunity to travel abroad.

    All the reports I wrote, and photos we took, are posted in two English speaking websites: and the Alberto Contador Notebook.

    Some of my reports have also been translated by Arsen Gadbullin for Astanafans.

    Roger and I are now on the Vuelta a España, and we are reporting for Astanafans.

    We arrived last night at 20:30 in Sevilla, Andalucia, where the temperature was reaching to 38°. A heatwave is forecast on Saturday during the Team Time Trial due to start at 23:00 in the center of Sevilla.

    This time we are lucky enough to be staying at the same hotel as teams Astana, Omega Pharma Lotto, and Saxo Bank. As it is an enormous place (650 rooms) we thought we would never have a chance of seeing any rider. But by chance team Astana is not only on the same floor as us but their rooms are along the same corridor.

    Last night we had the chance to take some photos of several riders such as Dima Fofonov, Allan Davis, Enrico Gasparotto, and sat in the lounge to have a chat with Dima and soigneur Sergey Lavrenenko (two long time friends from Almaty). We found out we had been very lucky to get a direct plane from Paris to Sevilla. Dima Fofonov had to change twice coming from Clermont-Ferrand (a city located in the center of France where he lives with wife Marina and 5-year old son Artëm), one time in Paris and the second in Barcelona. It took him the whole day to reach Sevilla. As to soigneur Sergey, he had to drive the team truck 2,300 kilometers (maybe from Germany where he lives with wife and two children Christina and Mikhail).

    Dima Fofonov and soigneur Sergey Lavrenenko

    Then came along Australian rider Allan Davis and Italian Enrico Gasparotto.

    Dima shares his room with Catalan rider Josep Jufre, while sprinters Allan Davis (who lives in San Sebastian during the cycling season and has two children aged 6 and 9) and Enrico Gasparotto are roommates.

    Dima told us that Andrey Zeits has recently become the father of his first child, a little girl called Daria born on 1st August during the Tour of Poland.

    This morning at breakfast we saw all three teams sitting at large oval tables. The riders sit together and the staff sits always at a another table.

    I congratulated Andrey Zeits for the birth of Dacha and said hello to Sergey Renev.

    At 10 AM the Astana riders left for a training ride and a reconnaissance of the TTT circuit. The sun was already high in the sky and the temperature over 30°C. We shared elevator with Valentin Iglinsky, Andrey Zeits and Alexandr Dyachenko and I took this opportunity to take a photo.

    We left the riders and went for a one-hour ride on a cruise boat on the Guadelquivir (Arabic translation of large river) which goes all the way across Sevilla, and took many pictures of the nice scenery and landmarks. Aboard, the temperature was rising to get almost unbearable. It was getting on to 40°C. The Arabs have occupied this part of Spain for seven centuries and have left a lot of landmarks.

    On our way back we conincided with Saxo team in the hotel lobby. It was 13:30 and they were just back from training. We said hello in French to Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck who smiled at us. I like Andy!

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