Peter Velits: "They know its possible for somebody from Slovakia to become world champion"

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12.01.2008/ Peter Velits won the U 23 road race of the 2007 UCI World Championships. The 22 year old Slovakian rider signed with German Pro-Tour team Milram and thinks that after his world title cycling will grow in his home country. "They know its possible for somebody from Slovakia to become world champion." An interview with Peter Velits.

© Cyclingheroes
Peter Velits is one of the promising young guns of Team Milram (© Cyclingheroes)

Cyclingheroes: You must be very happy with the end of the 2007 season....[Peter Veilts won the 2007 U23 Road Race at the UCI World Championships]

Peter Velits: It was a great season. It was the best season so far. I am very happy, at the World Championships... it was amazing.

Cyclingheroes: Is there a big difference between your former team, Pro-Continental team Wiesenhof or a Pro-Tour team like Milram?

Peter Velits: Yes, In my opinion its a very big difference. This team [Milram] is much bigger. Its like a small factory. So many people. At Wiesenhof it was like a big family. We were all friends. Yes its very different.

Cyclingheroes: You are a young rider. How does it feel to start your career after all the problems in cycling in the last couple of years?

Peter Velits: What can I say? A lot has happened and there are a lot of changes, like for instance the biological passport. Of course its necessary. I will do the things that were decided to fight against doping. There is no question about that. Sometimes its difficult to fill out the 'where abouts' papers three months in advance.But we must do it and of course I will do it.

Cyclingheroes: Do you already know your race programme for 2008?

Peter Velits: We have a schedule until the end of April. My season will start with five one-day races in South-Africa. The first will be at the 2nd of February. These are relatively small races. After that I will go to Italy and will do the Giro di Sardegna. After Italy I will race Paris-Nice and other stage races. We will race many stage races because we have two great sprinters in our team [Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel, editor]. My highlights will be Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Cyclingheroes: Can you tell us something about cycling in your home country [Slovakia]?

Peter Velits: We have a few continental teams in Slovakia. Cycling is not very big in my home country, like for instance football or icehockey. But after my world title people start to follow cycling. I think that's really good for young kids. They know now they can do it as well. They know its possible for somebody from Slovakia to become world champion. I think cycling starts to grow now. Cycling was very small.

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Peter Velits
Birthdate: February 21, 1985
Place of Birth: Bratislava, Slovakia
Height: 1.81 mtr
Weight: 63 kg.
Turned pro: 2004
2004:            Dukla Trencin
2005 - 2006:  Konica-Minolta
2007:            Wiesenhof-Felt
2008:            Milram
Stage 6 Vuelta ciclista a Navarra
National Slovakian Champion U 23 time trial
Stage 2 Giro Del Capo
Overall Giro Del Capo
GP Kooperativa
National Slovakian Champion U 23 time trial
Stage 2 GP Tell
GP Fourmies
U 23 UCI Road World Champion

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