Getting to know Baza Part 1

    • Filled in News in English 3 Апрель 2010 в 2:55, author: msquared
    • Views: 9 757.

    (From an article by Zhanar Utesheva titled "The Secret of Assan Bazayev's Success" published at in July 2009)

    (Remember that Baza was the National Road Race Champion of Kazakhstan at the time.)

    We awaited his visit to Astana with special anticipation. First, because he is not a frequent visitor in Astana, and in Kazakhstan in general. Secondly, he is truly a hero for our time. Third it is simply a pleasure to meet a man who by his example proves that the Kazakhstan School of Sports can compete with other world powers.

    Assan Bazayev. The man who is strongly linked with Astana. He was born and raised in Tselinograd. First steps, first bike, first love, the first victory. Family. Wife. Son. And, of course, racer with Astana. We could not miss this excellent opportunity, to meet with Assan during his visit to the capital. Therefore, today we present an interview with the capital's most famous racer, the national champion, one of the fastest racers in the peloton, and just a charming and open person.

    The road to the sport

    Assan, an issue we cannot ignore is how and when you became tied to this life of cycling? Why this sport?

    Why cycling? Mm, got into it accidentally. At age eleven I met a friend who went to the cycling section, he invited me. I enrolled from nothing else to do. That's all. And so there I was.The truth is, no one knew then that everything would turn out.

    You came into cycling "by accident", and yet are one of the leading riders in Kazakhstan. What is the secret of your success?

    I don't know. Prior to cycling, I was in other sports: gymnastics, swimming. True, not very successful. Perhaps the coach was not so responsible, still, a lot of that depends. I was in Gymnastics two years at an even level. Then the coach went to Russia and I began to wander.

    I was in cycling and, after 2 weeks, won the first race. All at once it mattered. I realized that it was my sport. In our group, I was one of the leaders. Still, interest grows in something when a win is produced.

    You probably had a sporting family?

    No, my family in general doesn't have any relation to sports. My father is an ordinary plodder, and my mother is a doctor.

    And how do they relate to your sport?

    At first they were against it. The said that this is not serious. Then when I got the form to win, they helped obtain a bike of my own. I can say my parents were my first sponsor. They gave me my first a bicycle.

    And when did you get your first bike?

    Two weeks after the competition. I won the tournament overall and they gave me a bicycle.

    Your first coach?

    Alexander Kochetkov - When I started he was my first coach. If not for him, I would have failed because in cycling it is very important to correctly lay the foundations for a young rider. Maxim Iglinsky started the first two years with another coach, also in Astana [the city]. And then beyond that we have taken training together. Alexander had a professional attitude to training, to preparing. Out of nothing he created a champion. The real results were from Alexander. We were all tight, properly constructed - training, discipline. He gave me the way to a great sport. I woruld not have been a cyclist without him.

    Do you remember your first professional race?

    I signed the contract in February. Before that I was prepared to fly to Greece in December with the national team. But just before departure the manager of the Spanish team Liberty Seguros phoned and asked me to sign a contract for one year. So I sat here two months in Kazakhstan waiting for a contract. I went to the team in March but then I was still crude, not ready. That was in 2006. I was first starting to race Paris-Roubaix. We rode 160 km. I even remember the day - 10 March. Already, my second year in a big sport. (smiles)

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