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. bg ski news : World vice champion Maxim Vilegzhanin (RUS) won SIVEN Rollerski Cup 2011 in Belmeken, Bulgaria - 21 August 2011 - 19:51

ROLLER SKIING (SKI.BG) – Celebrity ski racers, a record number of participants, a real spectacular, controversial battle for first places, multitude audience, wonderful sunny weather and excellent organization – thus can be described in brief this year's 16th edition of the summer Rollerski race for SIVEN Cup.

On 21st of August, 2011, the Bulgarian High Mountain Sports Training Center Belmeken hosted the traditional 19-km uphill race in Rollerski Mass Start Free technique from Undola to Belmeken in Rila Mountain. At the start line in the center of Undola resort stood an impressive group of 72 male athletes.



Meanwhile, 31 women and 25 juveniles toed the start of 9-km distance competition in Kurtovo and 20 junior girls, 8 boys, 14 girls and 10 veterans were ready for the 5-km distance race. The total number of participants in the race amounted to a record of 180 people.

The representatives of Russia were the biggest group among the athletes – nationals (in this number, 37 from Russian men's A-team) and other club teams in cross country skiing and biathlon. The competition joined also athletes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece and, of course, from the Bulgarian national cross-country skiing team and several Bulgarian ski clubs.

The start was given simultaneously for all exactly at 10:00.

Men's start in Undola

The column in first kilometers was impressive...

...and the battle for leadership was extremely challenging!

Over the hardest distance of 19-km uphill for men with vertical difference of 580 meters, the fastest was not else but the triple world vice champion in cross country skiing Maxim Vilegzhanin from Russia. In championship style, Max ran with ease the distance to the finish for 51:40.0 minutes, almost reaching the race record of 51:12, set by the Russian Sergei Rojkov in 2005.

Maxim Vilegzhanin (RUS)

Only Andrey Smolyanin from Moscow ski team managed to follow the pace of Maxim all over the entire route and even to pass in front of the leader a couple of times, but finally over the last kilometer Vilegzhanin, apparently preserved his forces, pulled forward undisturbed and crossed the finish line first.

Only Andrei Smolyanin from Russia was able to follow the pace of Vilegzhanin

Andrey Smolyanin left second at 8.7 seconds behind. The third place earned another representative of "Sbornaya" (Russian A-national team) – Andrei Larkov with a result of 52:56.1 min.

Right after the final, especially for WWW.SKI.BG , Maxim Vilegzhanin said: “I am very pleased that I won at my first participation in this competition”.

Cross-country skiing World champion and winner of SIVEN Rollerskiing Cup 2011 Maxim Vilegzhanin in a blitz interview for Bulgarian National TV

For great regret of the numerous Bulgarian spectators, gathered around the final, the biggest Bulgarian hope for good performance in this competition – the winner of the previous two editions of SIVEN Cup and the leader of the national cross-country skiing team Veselin Tsinzov, failed to finish after he broke the tip of his pole yet in the first quarter of the race. Till that moment the Bulgarian national competitor was in the front group, and even led the column several times. Though, the inability to obtain a new pole deprived him of the chance to fight for the prize.

Veselin Tsinzov (BUL) led the column several times within the first kilometers, in the background is Maxim Vilegzhanin

Vesko Tsinzov at the background, trying to give a sign that he needs a new pole

Thus, in the longest distance of 19 km for men, all the positions to the 52nd out of 58 finished participants were fully occupied by the Russians. At 53rd place was the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina Nemanja Kozarats (1.02:21.1h), the 55th is his fellow countryman Stefan Lapatich (1.03:00.9 h) and only two Bulgarians reached the finals, but unfortunately they were not able to demonstrate their abilities and were ranked respectively: Boyko Harizanov of SC “Usana” on the 57th (1.04:02.6h) and for Ivan Burgov of SC “Al.Logistics” on 58th (1.07:05.2h) place.

Maxim Vilegzhanin receives congratulations and SIVEN Cup 2011 from Deputy Minister of Physical Education and Sports Prof. Lazar Kamenov

Winners received copies of the SKI&BOARD Bulgarian magazine

No less contested “Russian” fight was performed in women’s category. Ultimately, in the absence of Ladies A-National team of Russia, the first place won the Biathlon World Champion from Pyeongchang 2009 and representative of Tyumen Anna Buligina, who passed 9 km for 28:32.7 minutes. Second remained cross country ski athlete Larissa Shaydurova from Moscow (28:33.4 min) and third - biathlonist Ekaterina Vorontsova from Tyumen (28:36.4 min).

Anna Buligina receives gold medal from Bulgarian short track speed skating athlete Evgenia Radanova

The first not Russian competitor, crossed the finish 17th, was the Bulgarian national cross-country ski competitor Theodora Malcheva from SC “Al.Logistics” (30:58.1 min). The other Bulgarian national racer Antonia Grigorova-Burgova (SC “Al.Logistics”) finished 20th with time of 31:21.6 minutes.

Theodora Malcheva (BUL)

The greatest success for Bulgaria in this year's SIVEN Cup achieved Simeon Deyanov from the junior national team, who won the gold medal in the 9-km youth category with a time of 26:17.6 minutes. The second placed was Alexander Selyaninov of the junior national team of Russia (26:46.3 min) and the third position gained Sergei Kripunov from Petrodvorets, Russia (26:57.3 min).

Simeon Deyanov (BUL) receives his gold medal from the head coach of the Russian men's team Oleg Perevozchikov

In girls 5-km category, the podium was occupied by Russian youth national team – Alisa Shambalova (16:11.1 min), Elena Reshetnikova (16:12.0 min) and Natalia Nepryaeva (16:34.6 min).

Junior ladies podium also was fully occupied by Russians

The boys, raced over 5 km, were only Bulgarians, so the first was Nicholai Vyachev from Panichishte (16:39.5 min), followed by Simeon Ognyanov from Rilski skior (19:32.3 min) and Lubomir Paparkov from Atlas (19:43.5 min).

Winners in the boys 5-km category were awarded by the Head of Cross-Country Ski Department of the Bulgarian Ski Federation Mr. Petar Pankov, who was technical delegate of the race

In girls category at the same distance, the winner became the only foreigner Polina Nekrasova from St. Petersburg, Russia (18:56.3 min), followed by Bulgarians Nancy Okoro from Panichishte (18:56, 6 min) and Petya Stoycheva from Rilski skior (19:23.9 min).

Charming young girls winners in group 5 km

The last category for the veterans was also seized by Russians – Oleg Kochetkov became thewinner, achieving time of 14:25.3 minutes, followed by representatives of the Russian national team Evgenii Shutov and Sergey Dergunov.

The best among veterans

Supported by loud applause, one after another, the winners in various categories climbed the podium. The men, women, boys and girls at the first three positions took the medals and money awards. The men and women received specially made beautiful cups as well. All the winners received numerous prizes provided by sponsors.

Female winner Anna Buligina gave autographs

Silver medalist Larisa Shaydurova also received great attention from the young fans

World champion Maxim Vilegzhanin written his name on the back of specially made for the purpose bright-red T-shirts

Among the great number of prominent sports figures and official guests of the race stood out the names of the Deputy Minister of Physical Education and Sports prof. Lazar Kamenov and the most entitled Bulgarian short track speed skating athlete Evgenia Radanova.

Evgenia Radanova

The patron of the competition – the bronze medalist in cross country skiing at the Olympics in Lake Placid in 1980 and present mayor of the near town of Velingrad Mr. Ivan Lebanov unfortunately did not appear in person, but had sent his congratulatory greetings to the participants.

The National High Mountain Sports Complex “Belmeken” is located in Rila Mountain on the border of the Rhodopes at altitude of over 2,000 meters. Belmeken has a unique climate, clean air, extremely scenic landscape and a beautiful dam in addition, which make the place ideal ecological environment for serious sport activities. Thanks to all this the complex has become, for a long time, a world famous training center of attraction for many athletes from a lot of European countries and not once even for athletes from far destinations, such as the United Arab Emirates and Japan. Presently the vast majority of the athletes in Belmeken are from Russia and its neighboring countries – Ukraine, Belarus etc. Since its construction in 1967 till1988 Belmeken was a major center for training of Bulgarian and German athletes (former GDR), for a variety of sports. Actually, the Germans chose the place and prefer to build their base right here, having previously toured Europe in search of the most suitable conditions. During that time the sports base was only allowed for training the national teams of Bulgaria and GDR under the concluded agreement between the two countries, and the ownership of the complex, known as “laboratory of Champions”, was divided by both countries. In the late 80s the Germans completely transferred the ownership to the Bulgarian state. Now the complex is managed by the “National sports facilities” EAD and the last winter season was renovated.

Founded 16 years ago, SIVEN Rollerski Cup in Belmeken is one of the few professional competitions, in which athletes from three different sports – cross country skiing, biathlon and ski-orienteering – compete simultaneously. Thanks to the participation of numerous sports celebrities, who are in Belmeken for a training camp during the summer, SIVEN Rollerski Cup becomes an excellent opportunity for Bulgarian athletes to meet some of the best foreign athletes in skiing, biathlon and orienteering, to compare with them and to test their own abilities, which inevitably contributes to the development of these disciplines in Bulgaria.

In the end, we can happily say that SIVEN Rollerski Cup 2011 has become a unique celebration of roller skiing in Bulgaria! With every passing year, already the traditional international rollerski race grows bigger, still better, more successful, interesting and of high class. The most significant Bulgarian summer season ski race confidently moves forward. And why not a Bulgarian rollerski race to be scheduled in the FIS calendar soon!

August 21, 2011




Maxim Vilegzhanin goes at the head of the column for first time

Vilegzhanin take refreshment drink

Temporarily leader Artem Norin from Tyumen (RUS)

Maxim Vilegzhanin and Andrey Smolyanin began to move away from the group

Over the open forest zone, shortly after Kurtovo

Beginning of the second short downhill, Vilegzhanin still experiencing fatigue from the climb

Andrey advantages again and goes in front of the Max

On the wall of a Belmeken dam Smolyanin is not surrender yet

Less than a kilometer before the finish Maxim is still behind Andrei

Max final attack

The finale of Vilegzhanin

Antonia Grigorova-Burgova (BUL)

Theodora Malcheva (BUL) shortly before the start

Girls from SC Stambolovo (Ihtiman) at the start of the fifth kilometer - from left to right - Slaveyka Ivanova, Sofia Velichkova, Ivelina Dimitrova and Gergana Velkova

Siven Cup winner 2011 Anna Buligina

The winner of the Siven Cup 2011 Maxim Vilegzhanin

Owners of the SIVEN Ventsislav Venev (left) and Krassimir Venev with the winner of the 16th edition of the rollerski race for Siven Cup Maxim Vilegzhanin (RUS)



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