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Natallia Tsylinskaya on a 2004 Belarusian stamp
|Full name||Natallia Tsylinskaya|
April 30, 1975 |
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||73 kg (161 lb; 11.5 st)|
|Discipline||Track & Road|
|2007–||Safi – Pasta Zara – Manhattan|
Natallia Tsylinskaya (Russian: Наталья Цилинская, born 30 August 1975) is an international cyclist, specialising in track sprinting. A dominant force in particular in the 500m time trial between 2000 and 2006, Tsylinskaya is an eight time World Champion, and an Olympic bronze medalist.
Tsylinskaya first began cycle racing when a trainer visited her school, Minsk School No. 1, and taught the art of road cycling. It was not until her one of her friends suggested she try track cycling that she discovered a talent for high speed "sprinting".
Under the direction of her trainer Alexander Beljatsky (who rode for Russia's premier road racing team Dynamo), Tsylinskaya won the Youth USSR Championship at the age of 14. At age 16, in 1993, she travelled to Sydney, Australia to participate in the Junior World Championships, where she won a bronze medal.
Return to cycling
Having left cycling to get married and start a family, Belarusian authorities convinced Natallia to return to competitive cycling during the winter of 1998. As Minsk did not have a track or adequate training facilities, Tsylinskaya moved to Moscow, where she trained at Krylatskom (Russian: Крылатском) velodrome.
Tsylinskaya first gained international notice at the 2000 World Championships in Manchester, England where she won gold in both the 500mTT and the Sprint, yet these results alone were not sufficient for a qualification for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. In 2001, she teamed up with Russian trainer Stanislav Solovyev (Станислав Соловьев), who remained her coach throughout her career. She won gold for both the sprint and 500mTT events at three of the four world cups in that year but failed to gain a medal at the 2001 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium She also suffered a severe crash during the sprint qualification rounds, where she broke her collarbone.
Championships from 2002 to 2004
Riding for the first time in international competition under her maiden name of Tsylinskaya, she began the 2002 season by winning both the sprint and 500mTT events at the World Cup races in Mexico City and Moscow. She followed this by winning gold in both the 500mTT and sprint events at the 2002 World Championships in Ballerup, Denmark.
In the World Championships of 2003 in Stuttgart, Germany, she won gold in the 500mTT event, posting a time of 34.078 seconds, her personal best time. However, in the sprint event, Tsylinskaya met her main rival, Russian track cyclist and good friend Svetlana Grankovskaya, in the final and lost in two straight heats, thus relegating Tsylinskaya to the silver medal.
In 2004 the focus was on the Athens Olympics which took place in August. After victories in World Cup races earlier that year, expectations ran high, but at the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia in May 2004, she collided with British rider Victoria Pendleton’s wheel in the sprint and bruised her right hip in the crash. In the following 500mTT competition, she finished eighth, Australian Anna Meares winning this event.
At the Olympics in Athens on 20 August 2004, Tsylinskaya took the bronze medal, her only Olympic medal, in the 500m time trial.
Season 2005 – Season 2006
At beginning of the new season Tsylinskaya decided to expand her training routine to incorporate Keirin racing. She began the season by appearing at the Los Angeles World Cup where she won gold in the 500mTT and in the sprint and also won bronze in the Keirin, losing out to Victoria Pendleton and Anna Meares. One month later in January 2005 Natallia rode at the Manchester World Cup where she won gold in the Keirin event The World Championships were held in Los Angeles. She won gold in the 500mTT race over Anna Meares of Australia by just .014 seconds, but was beaten in the sprint by the Australian Kerrie Meares after being relegated and subsequently disqualified in the quarterfinals for performing a dangerous maneuver. In the second round of the Keirin event Tsylinskaya fell whilst trying to muscle her way into the lead. Tsylinskaya sustained mild superficial injuries as well as a moderate concussion.
The 2006 season began at the Moscow World Cup where she won gold in both the 500mTT event and the sprint. At the Manchester World Cup she consolidated her season dominance in the 500mTT by taking gold on the first day. A day later, she came second in the sprints losing out to Victoria Pendleton after being relegated in the final. In the Los Angeles World Cup Tsylinskaya again won the 500mTT and the sprint events.
The 2006 World Championships were held in Bordeaux, France. Tsylinskaya won gold in the 500mTT event, posting a time of 34.152 seconds. A couple of days later, Tsylinskaya also took the gold in the sprint event, beating Victoria Pendleton in the final.
Season 2007 – Present
The 2007 track cycling season kicked off in Sydney Australia where Round 1 of the World Cup series was held from the 17–19 November 2006. Tsylinskaya met Great Britain champion Victoria Pendleton in the final of the Sprint competition and was pushed to a deciding third ride before taking the Gold medal.
The second round of the world cup series was held in Moscow, Russia on the 15–17 December. As in Sydney, Tsylinskaya once again made it through to the final where she met and bested an up-and-coming 19-year-old Cuban Lizandra Guerra. Tsylinskaya had to settle for second place behind Cuban Lizandra Guerra with a time of 34.802 seconds in the 500m time trial.
Through cycling Natallia met her first husband, Alexander Markovnichenko, a famous Ukrainian bicycle racer who at the time was a World Champion in the combined team of the USSR. They married in the mid-1990s, moved to Donbass, Ukraine, and Natallia gave birth to their daughter, Masha, in May 1996. She only returned to Minsk occasionally to attend the Academy of Physical Training and Sports, where she studied in absentia and which she completed in 1998. Tsylinskaya's husband did not support her return to competitive cycling in 1998, and this most likely led to their separation and subsequent divorce in 2001.
- "Athlete Biography – TSYLINSKAYA Natallia". Beijing Olympics official website. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008.
- Nataliya Tsilinskaya. sports-reference.com
- "Article on Tsylinskaya" (in Russian). Belarus Bank. 24 June 2006.[dead link]
- "Article on Tsylinskaya". Charter 97. 9 October 2002. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
- "Women's 500m time trial: Tsylinskaya lands second world title". Cycling News. 25 September 2002.
- "Athlete Biographies: Natallia Tsylinskaya". Athens Olympics 2004. March 2004.[dead link]
- "Article on Tsylinskaya at the 2001 World Championships". VeloNews. 29 September 2001. Archived from the original on 20 October 2006.
- "Article on Tsylinskaya at the 2001 World Championships". VeloNews. 27 September 2001. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006.
- CyclingNews: Article on Tsylinskaya at the 2002 World Championships from 28 September 2002 (in English)
- CyclingNews: Article on Tsylinskaya from 3 August 2003 (in English)
- CyclingNews: Article on Tsylinskaya from April 2006 (in English)
- CyclingNews: Results table and article for 500mTT event at Athens Olympics from August 2004 (in English)
- CyclingNews: Race Report from 11 December 2004 (in English)
- "Race Report". Cycling News. 7 January 2005.
- "Belarus' Tsylinskaya takes world cycling 500m time trial title". Sina News. 25 March 2005.
- "2005 Track World Championships – Review of Day 1". Women's Cycling. 25 March 2005.
- "Track World Cup 05-06 Round 1". Cycling News. 5 November 2005.
- Mal Sawford (10 December 2005). "Women's 500m time trial: Tsylinskaya does it again". Cycling News.
- "Track World Cup 05-06 Round 2". Cycling News. 11 December 2005.
- Rob Jones (21 January 2006). "US trade teams and Commonwealth countries target LA track World Cup". CyclingNews.
- Mal Sawford (16 April 2006). "Women's sprint: Tsylinskaya shapes up as favourite". Cycling News.
- "2006 World Cup, Round 2, Moscow Results". Tissot Timing. 15 December 2006.
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