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Alexandr Pliuschin: “Winning races, that’s what cycling is about”

This time last year, I was talking to Alexandr Pliuschin, who was close to sign a contract with an important team, where he wanted to shine in the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de Suisse. That team was IAM Cycling, but Pliuschin’s results weren’t the ones he was expecting and the former Moldavian champion left the team. What happened in the last months and what are his plans for next year, when he will race for Sky Dive Dubai? Find out from the following interview.

– Alexandr, after a very good 2012 season, you signed with IAM Cycling. What were your expectations at the beginning of the year?

I had high objectives and motivation, but unfortunately we are not always able to do things as we plan. Good thing is we are able to learn from our mistakes.

– Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Why was that?

I did a couple of mistakes in my early preparation, then I got sick, all went in the wrong way and I couldn’t catch back.

– Indeed, you didn’t finish a couple of races.

I did not finish more than a couple of races. In some races, when you know that you’re not able to fight for good results, you must give 100 % of what you’ve got in yourself for your team and  team leaders, for that there is no reason to go until you’re dead, fighting for the last places, of course if it’s not a stage race. But yes, there were races when I was sick as well, and couldn’t finish.

– On the bright side, you raced the Ardennes Classics, that you like so much. How was that experience?

I love them, but it’s not enough. Those races are like the World Championships, you must be at your best level, and it wasn’t my case.

– Looking back, how would you describe your season with IAM Cycling? What were the positive things?

It’s not about the team, it’s about myself. It can be the best team in the world, but when you are not satisfied with yourself, it’s not going any better. I was not happy with myself, I had a bad year. It happens in cycling, and not only. But the important thing is that I’ve found the reason, learned from my mistakes, and now I’m working to come back at my best. IAM is a great team, especially the big boss, Michel Thétaz, and we  should be very happy and feel  lucky to have people like him in cycling.

– Now you’re going to Sky Dive Dubai, a Continental team, but with high goals for the future. What made you sign with this team?

Destiny, I guess. Also, I had the feeling that it was the right thing to do.

– And what objectives will you have for 2014? 

Objectives… to realize what I didn’t in 2013: winning races, that’s what cycling is about.

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