The folk dancer who merely won a national road cycling title
At the Israeli Road National Championships, the elite men’s road race tends to go a certain way. At some point, a small group will get off the front, stacked with riders from the Israel Start-Up Nation( ISN) WorldTour crew and its feeder crew, the Continental-level Israel Cycling Academy( ICA ). Then those riders will duke it out for the win.
That’s the path it’s gone every year since 2015 when the Israel Cycling Academy was first established *. Last weekend’s 2021 edition seemed destined to offer more of the same. But that’s not what happened.
This past Saturday, in the hills south west of Jerusalem, the 2021 Israeli championships played host to a great upset. The winner of the elite men’s road race: 26 -year-old barista, Ukrainian expat, and former professional folk dancer, Vladislav “Vlad” Loginov.
(* The only edition of Israeli nationals ISN/ ICA hasn’t won was that first year in 2015 when Guy Sagiv took the win. He joined the team a few weeks later ).
National Championships Israel – Road Race( NC)
Israel Cycling Academy
Israel Start-Up Nation
Israel Cycling Academy
The race looked like it was following the usual script. Over five laps of a hilly 25 km circuit ISN and ICA equestrians were predictably prominent, and always threatening. A move from Saned Abu Fares( ICA) looked like it might be destined to stick with the 21 -year-old leading solo into the final lap and a half. In the group behind, Loginov, racing for the 500 Watt amateur team, was heavily outnumbered by Abu Fares’ Continental and WorldTour teammates.
But then Loginov established his move.
“As my coach-and-four Kenny Wilson suggested in pre-race advice,’ When you will feel it right, when you see it right, go for it, ’” Loginov told CyclingTips. And go for it he did.
“I waited[ until] a downhill part as the peloton slowed down and here I prefer my minute to attack, ” Loginov said. “Two other riders tried to jump on my wheel, but on the uphill area I elevated the quicken to leave them behind,[ and] I remained alone for a full lap.”
Behind, Loginov’s ISN and ICA contenders were busy looking at one another, ultimately differentiating each other out of the race. Loginov had expected as much.
” I knew the four would journey tactically against each other and not cooperate- and that I could take advantage of that, ” he said subsequentlies. “And that’s exactly what happened. I have immense respect for the professionals, but I[ applied] their rivalry to my advantage.”
Loginov bridged across to Abu Fares with half a lap to go. “We rode together until the final sprint, but I was feeling self-confident in my sprint and hopped for the finish with 150 m to go, ” Loginov said.
His scream of elation as he traversed the finish line told the story- he’d only become the first rider in years to break the ISN/ ICA stranglehold, as an amateur equestrian who’d simply turned to cycling a few years earlier.
How did the sensational Israeli Nationals unfold? FIRST scene: ICA’s Under-2 3 Druze equestrian Saned Abu Fares escapes.SECOND: Amateur Vlad Ligionov surprises the ISN pro favorites, assaults and catches.THIRD: The favorites can’t figure an alliance to catch.FOURTH: VLAD is the Champ! pic.twitter.com/ 95 ZKIYdaPf
— Israel Start-Up Nation/ Israel Cycling Academy (@ TeamIsraelSUN) June 19, 2021
It’s a familiar narration in cycling: an athlete picking up the bicycle after transitioning from a different sport. You don’t have to look far in the professional peloton to find former smugglers or rowers; even sports like ski jumping and ski mountaineering are represented. But Loginov’s background as a professional folk dancer, in Odessa, Ukraine? That has the potential to make him unique in cycling.
“I danced since I was seven years old, ” he told the Elevation Coaching website in late 2020. “I was a professional in the theater while I analysed in a statute academy and worked as a bartender. I didn’t have occasion for anything, only working like a motherf *** ker.
“For five years I danced as a soloist of the philharmonic theater, moving around a lot to Spain, France, Moldova. Maybe that’s why I’m able to push hard-handed now[ as a cyclist ], because that school gave me a lot.
“Six hours of dancing a period is a good workout- I guess about 250 TSS[ educate stress score] a day! ”[ the equivalent of 2.5 hours expended journeying at FTP- ed .]
Loginov gave up dancing professionally when he moved to Israel in 2017.” It wasn’t planned but I didn’t find perfect place for me here to keep working as a professional dancer as I was dancing Ukrainian folk dance for years and plainly it doesn’t exist here in Israel ,” he said.” So slowly gradually I had to change focus[ to] something else to keep myself in shape and find a brand-new passion. So I did[ it with] cycling .”
Loginov took the plunge in late 2017, buying a bike during Black Friday marketings. “I decided to buy a motorcycle just because of the rate, reckoning’ it appears good, it’s entirely black, let’s try, ’” he said. It wasn’t long before he was working his lane up through the amateur ranks and testifying considerable promise. In 2019 he won a’ Masters’ national name- the two categories simply below upper-class- and by 2020 he was compete with the very best in the country.
At the 2020 Israeli road nationals Loginov competed in his first elite-level time trial. Riding on a borrowed bicycle, he finished third, behind merely Guy Sagiv and Guy Niv, both of ISN, both Grand Tour finishers. That answer caught the eye of ISN/ ICA co-owner and financier Sylvan Adams, and gave Loginov a day of testing with the organisation.
A couple weeks later, in the National street race, Loginov demonstrated even more promise. An early assault from Niv was reeled in, leaving a select group out front: five ICN/ ICA riders and Loginov. It was a preview of what was to come in the same race a year later.
In that 2020 race, though, Loginov’s inexperience ran against him. His attack with 2 km to go was quickly reeled in leaving Loginov wanting when Omer Goldstein( ISN ), Eitan Levi( ICA) and Sagiv( ISN) surged past in the final sprint.
Goldstein won that day, but Loginov had turned managers. Including that of Adams, the most important man in Israeli cycling.
“On the last lap he was in the car and wailing’ assault, attempt, you are strong! ’ To me! Not to his people, ” Loginov said. “I supposed’ He’s shouting for me? Oh my god, genuinely? ’ It gave me so much power, I was super stoked.”
Fast forward to this month. Loginov started his 2021 Nationals campaign with second place in the individual time trial, behind two-time winner Goldstein. And then it was on to the road race where he won against five ISN/ ICA equestrians, from a similar situation to that of a year earlier. It’s no coincidence this year’s race turned out differently.
“Last year I started to train on the velodrome in a brand-new track program with tutor Steve McEwen, ” he explained to CyclingTips. “He taught me to journey clever and save vitality when needed. I employed the experience gained wisely this year, as it is something I definitely missed in last year’s Championships.”
Loginov flanked by Saned Abu Fares( left) and Itamar Einhorn.
After this breakthrough result, it’s no surprise Loginov is looking further ahead. He’d love to race as a professional.
“I worked hard for this victory and it gave me an opportunity to step up to the pro level, ” Loginov said. “Yes, I’ve received a few telephone calls with gives, but good-for-nothing official yet and I haven’t signed anything at present. So yes, I’m still open to offers, but I hope soon to be given the opportunity to step up to the next level.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Loginov join the ISN/ ICA setup in some capability from next year. We already know that he’s impressed Adams. On social media, the team was also complimentary about Loginov’s performance over the weekend.
Wherever he aims up racing, it’s clear from Loginov’s past life- and his rode to becoming national champ- that he’s not afraid of hard work. And upstaging his more-fancied rivals this past weekend when so significantly outnumbered? That shows the sort of strength and persistence that’s sure to win him slew of fans.
And if cycling doesn’t work out for him, well, Loginov’s got plenty to fall back on. For starters, he hasn’t solely given up his dancing.” I am still working in the theatres freelance ,” he said.” Before COVID-1 9 it was my main job. And when all got shut down I received the[ barista chore] in the coffee shop as this is also my fervour .” Consider too that he’s got a baby on the way and the future is looking pretty good for this professional dancer turned cycling champion.
” I’m extremely proud in becoming the Israeli national champion ,” he said.” Naturally, it wouldn’t have happened without the constant support I get from my family, friends, and spouse( mother-to-be ), who is always by my back. I feel anointed .”
Thanks to VeloClub member Oren Dvoskin for the tale hypothesi and for the introduction to Vlad.
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