Sivakov ready for new challenges

11 Jan 2019

Sivakov ready for new challenges

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Pavel Sivakov is more motivated than ever heading into 2019 after a character-building first season in the pro ranks.

The talent of the 21 year old shone through despite a stop-start year, interrupted by injury and bad luck. Now the Russian is keen to take all of the lessons learned into this season, with new goals, including a focus on the Giro d’Italia, and a sense of excitement ahead of the campaign.
Set to start his season later this month at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Sivakov explained: “I got more experience in 2018. Obviously we’ve got really experienced guys [on the team] who have won most of the biggest races in the world. It’s been a big thing for me to race with them and to learn from them. I’ve improved a little bit in all aspects but there’s still a lot to improve on.

“For 2018 it’s a sense of mixed feelings to be honest. The year didn’t start how I wanted. I had an injury all through the winter so I didn’t have a proper base. I had great support from the team and they helped coach me through this so I could bounce back later in the season. I did some good work for the team and I was also happy with some personal results – for example at Tour de Suisse – and I was in the team which won with Egan (Bernal) in California and Tour of Poland with Kwiato (Michal Kwiatkowski).”
Pavel Sivakov

Pavel Sivakov

It’s all about learning in the first season and I learned a lot.

Those strong rides led to Sivakov getting a call up to his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana – an impressive accolade in his first season at the pro level.

With crash injuries forcing him to abandon the race on stage 14, he admitted: “I got selected for the Vuelta but I didn’t go in there how I wanted to. I had a small infection and injury, then crashed in the race. But overall I’m happy with the season and how it went. Even if it’s not the best it’s been a massive experience for me. It’s all about learning in the first season and I learned a lot.”

When it came to mentors, Sivakov was spoilt for choice on Team Sky with a number of great riders to learn from in his debut season.

“I learned quite a lot from Kwiato because I did quite a few races with him, especially in the second part of the season like Tour of Poland and the Vuelta. On Tour of Suisse we had guys like Yogi (Ian Stannard) and (Michal) Golas. You learn from them, watching how they ride and do things. I also had the chance to race with G (Geraint Thomas) in Romandie which was also something special.”

For 2019 a main goal for Sivakov is to make his first appearance at the Giro d’Italia – a race that holds a place in his heart.

On his objectives he added: “I want to improve in terms of performance and experience. I would say to go and be selected for the Giro would be one of my goals. That would be great. I have a connection with Italy. I was born in Italy and I also won the Baby Giro in 2017. There’s something special and it would be amazing to compete there. I love racing in Italy. I really enjoyed racing at the Tour de Suisse last year, so to go back there would be great too.”

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