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Russia centering a “cycling revival” in Sochi

Feb 27, 2013, 2:34 PM EDT

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

After next February’s Sochi Winter Games, Russia is apparently planning to grow the country’s cycling program by turning one of the resort town’s skating venues into a “top-class” velodrome.

“We need it desperately, as none of the existing racing tracks in Russia fit the strict demands for the Olympic cycling track,” Russian cycling head Igor Makarov told AFP. “Besides, we’re going to create a great cycling center in the city using the classy highways which are currently being constructed there for the Games.”

National cycling officials are also planning to stage major road cycling events, fully backed by the government, including a “Tour of Russia” that would end in Moscow’s Red Square.

“After the fall of Soviet Union, the cycling infrastructure in the country fell into decay,” Marakov said, while deflecting rumors that he’ll run for UCI president. “It’s a miracle that Russian cyclists managed to win medals at the Olympic Games… We need to work out a plan of cycling revival in Russia, and put it into practice day-by-day.”

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