Cycling Stories: Made in the USSR (Part 23)

We land in Kiev. It hadn’t stopped raining since we touched down in Borispol airport. We could use a break, we tell Nikolai Rogozyan. It’s not like we’re racing next week. It’s not like you lose anything if you lie in bed for two days, dry and warm with a book in your hands and …

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Cycling Stories: Made in USSR (Part 21)

Zyama kept his promise. Two weeks after I’d been dug out from wonderland and dumped into the pit, he showed up in his beat-up Lada and took me to Titan’s service course in the centre of Kiev where our dormitory was. He told me everyone had gone to Crimea for the last stage race of …

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Cycling Stories: Made In USSR (Part 20)

Zyama pulled out his military ID, stuck it in the guard’s face and ordered to open the door. We stepped into a sun-lit, hundred-meter wide square surrounded by two- and three-story buildings. An alley on its far-end side led deeper into the garrison. We walked to a building on our right, climbed two flights of …

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Cycling Stories: Made In USSR (Part 19)

My plane landed in Kiev late afternoon the next day. No one heard from me for six days. If I’d gone missing for a day in a transition period between training camps and races, I could get away with it, but not six days, and not when another training camp was under way at Prolisok …

Read moreCycling Stories: Made In USSR (Part 19)