“I’m Vlad from Ukraine, just a simple dancer.”
That’s how newly crowned 2021 Israel National Road Race Champion Vlad Loginov described himself after defeating five World Tour professional riders on the Israel Start-Up Nation/Israel Cycling Academy (ISN/ICA) team.
The 26 year-old Ukrainian who immigrated to Israel three years ago had not ridden a bike or entered a race until he moved to Israel. On a whim he bought a bike, “I decided to buy a bike just because it was a good price, thinking it looks good, it’s totally black, let’s try,” he said.
It was a good decision.
The former professional folk dancer, now working as a barista, was already conditioned to train six hours per day, so training hard on the bike was not a difficult transition and he quickly achieved top amateur results.
This year he entered the national championship race, where since 2015 the ISN/ICA professional team has won the national title and dominated the podium every year – except 2021.
The Ukranian folk dancer, turned amateur bike racer had other plans.
With 40 kilometres remaining in this year’s championship race, Loginov bridged up to ISN/ICA pro Saned Abu-Fares, dropping and leaving behind four of Ab-Fares’ teammates who were unable to hold Loginov’s wheel, or chase him down.
Upon catching Abu-Fares the two worked together until the final sprint, where Loginov was clearly the strongest and crossed the finish line with an ecstatic arms-up, hands-out “V” victory salute while screaming in joy.
It seems Logionov can not only dance well on stage, but also on the pedals…
He is now considering taking up cycling professionally, and hopes to get offers following his national championship victory.