Ilia Koshevoy: “I’d like to focus on stage races”
One of the most talented young riders that will make their debut in the pro ranks next season is Ilia Koshevoy. Coming from Belarus, but riding in Italy for some time now, the 23-year-old scored six wins in 2014, including the prestigious Cronoscalata Gardone. One year before that, he had already won the Gran Premio della Liberazione, and that caught up Lampre-Merida’s attention, who gave him the opportunity to become a pro rider in 2015.
Recently, I talked to Ilia Koshevoy about this transfer – the most important step of his career so far – but also about the impressive results he had as an amateur and a stagiaire.
– Ilia, how did you start cycling?
My parents were cyclists, so I think this was my destiny. But I started cycling late, at the age of 16, because I did other things before. I spent the first years in my home town, mixing road and track races.
– And how did you get to race in Italy?
In 2009, I rode with the national team the Giro della Lunigiana and Giro di Basilicata. I had some good results and thanks to these I received some offers from Italian amateur teams.
– Since coming to Italy, you’ve improved a lot, but is there something in particular you would still like to work on?
I am going well on the climbs and also in the time trials, but my problem is the way I go on the descents. I think that’s the only thing I need to improve.
– In the past two years, you scored many important wins, like the Liberazione or the Cronoscalata Gardone. Which is the one you are the most proud of?
The Gran Premio della Liberazione is the most important victory. But the most important thing was that I had a strong 2014 season and I’m satisfied, because I was very consistent. I won six races in five different months and this says a lot.
– What’s the story of your transfer to Lampre-Merida?
Lampre contacted me last year, in October. It was difficult for them to take me on board for the 2014 season, so they offered me a pre-contract for 2015 and 2016 and I said yes.
– You’ve raced the Tour of Utah with Lampre and finished 13th. How was it?
I am satisfied with my result. It was my first stage race of the season with pro riders. I didn’t know what to expect, but my condition was better day after day, while other riders were having problems. This gave me a lot of confidence.
– What plans do you have for the future?
I don’t know my race calendar yet, I will talk about it with the team at the first training camp, in December. I’d like to focus on stage races and in 2015 I will find out what I can and what I can’t do.