A short dark-skinned man in a bright T-shirt and stylish breeches appeared on the ski base “Chaka” on the last day of the world mountain biking championships. And then he was in the spotlight. The famous pro racer was immediately surrounded on all sides, showered with questions and requests to be photographed together…
Pavel went abroad in 1992. Nine years lived in Italy. And when he married Spaniard, he moved to Madrid. In Spain, Tonkov likes. People, nature, excellent conditions for training… Cycling the road championships of American succession
Samara, a cyclist, a native of Izhevsk, considers his second homeland. After all, it was here that he received a fundamental sports training and became one of the most promising young riders in the world. Here he left a lot of friends, and Tonkov regularly comes to our city to visit.
Draws to see the city, the Volga, – says the athlete
Last fall, the cyclist announced his retirement from the big sport. The 37-year-old rider admitted that his health was not good and it was becoming more and more difficult for him to compete with young people. Yes, and injuries for his almost 20-year career as an athlete received in abundance. A concussion, a broken knee cap, back injuries … And, as a result, spinal surgery, during which Paul has removed two vertebral discs. It is clear that with such baggage you will not go far anymore.
However, in cycling Tonkov still remains. Pavel tries his hand as a manager of a professional Italian team.
“I have lived in Italy for many years, there are connections, so it’s easier to work in this country, ” the athlete explained. – I prepared a project for creating a large team, such as Mapey (a professional club in Italy, for which Pavel once spoke. His owner is a large concern for the production of building materials. According to unofficial information, the content of Mapey cost 100 million dollars per year – author’s note). I conduct negotiations with sponsors. I think that organizational issues, including obtaining a license, will take about a year. And I do business. I want to open a small hotel. Something after all you need to do in order not to die of boredom. And in my spare time in the summer I drive a bike (as riders call a mountain bike. – approx. Auth.), and in winter – on alpine skis.
The famous racer has two sons. The oldest is 9 years old; the youngest is 4 years old. The eldest son goes to a sports school, is engaged in judo, swimming, and fencing. Champion in no hurry to teach children to cycle. Believes that early.
“You need to go cycling at the age of 15-17 years,” the athlete said. – After all, the riders usually go to the peak of the form in 27-33 years.