Traditionally, from the 8th to the10th of April 2016, citizens and the guests of the city of Odessa participated in the massive complex of events called "100 kilometers along the Belt of Glory", dedicated to the 72th anniversary of the Liberation of South Palmyra from Nazi invaders.
The first festival of bicycle’s lovers "Odessa’s 100" was also held in the framework of the abovementioned event.
- Beautiful and glorious tradition of "Odessa’s 100" dates back to 1974, when the first athletes came at the starting point, on Potemkin’s Stairs. Today we celebrate the 34th anniversary of "Odessa’s 100 on the bike", - says the chairman of the organizing committee of the complex event "100 kilometers Along The Belt of Glory" Dmitry Voloshenkov.
The Day of Liberation of Odessa has become a national holiday for the residents of the city a long time ago. They are willing to take part in sports competitions, as for the passage of a distance one sufficiently needs good health, festive mood and, of course, the faith in yourself. "This year, "100 on the bike" ushered in the first international cyclofestival.
And we, as the organizing committee, will do everything possible so that the number of participants at the start can become bigger and bigger", - stresses Dmitry Voloshenko.
Among those who came to instruct the young athletes-patriots is the 4-times’ Champion of the cycling world, the Master of Sports of international class on track and road, multi-day races, the legendary Yuri Lupalenko.
- For the city of Odessa, for the visitors of the city, for the cyclists it is a real celebration! Traditionally, these competitions are held every year, and back in the 90s, I was the Chief judge of this competition for several years in a row.
I believe that this is the best way to promote cycling and healthy lifestyle in Odessa and Ukraine, - he says.
Interestingly, that all the world records Yuri Lupalenko set while using the Ukrainian bike made by Kharkov bicycle factory. For his superspeed on the track, the American journalists called him "Red Rocket". A boycott of 1984 did not allow him to fight for Olympic gold, but 25 days after the Olympic Games, he beated Olympic champion during the competition, setting a new world record.
Before "100 on byke" all the participants of the complex events of "100 kilometers Along The Belt of Glory" laid flowers at the monument to the Unknown Sailor. And then there was the long-awaited launch. More than two thousand people - of different ages, sexes, nationalities - rushed forward, knowing that the most important thing is not to win, but to participate. Ahead of them there were difficult "100 kilometers Along The Belt of Glory." Ultra-marathon distance requires from the athletes enormous willpower and courage. The realization that on these defense lines their fathers and grandfathers fought to death during the heroic defense of Odessa and the freeing of the city, helps the participants to overcome their fatigue, which sometimes amounts to the very top of physical abilities of cyclists and marathon runners!
Among the participants there were several foreigners. Before the competition, we met the German athlete from Berlin Evan Vosbery, (pictured in the center of the photo), who has been taking part in the Odessa’s “100 on the bike” for several years: «I liked the Ukrainians. They are very friendly and hospitable. During the past competitions near Odessa I met on the road a man who did not speak neither English, nor German, but he helped me ... Then during the competition in Kremenchug an absolute stranger invited me to stay at his home. The Ukrainians are lovely and friendly people» - said our interlocutor.
Twenty years ago Evan Vosbery lost a leg, became disabled, but did not give up. He is engaged in business and sports, driving on his bike 250-300 kilometers every day. Evan actively promotes a healthy lifestyle. He has participated many times in competitions in Ukraine. And it was in Ukraine where he has found the woman of his dreams.
In three days, the complex event "Odessa’s 100" turned from the traditional tourist event into a large-scale cyclofestival with its own heros. The main events took place at the entrance to the memorial to the 411th battery, when only a few kilometers before the finish were left. The decisive breakthrough was made by Viktor Galich, who finished the race with a good time result of 2 hours and 46 minutes. Konstantin Yevtushenko was the second, and Andrei Gladkyj came the third ...
And I want to believe that the Day of Liberation of Odessa from fascist invaders will remain forever in the hearts of Odessa’s citizens, because they are proud to cherish and multiply the traditions of the famous "Odessa’s 100." Odessa - Hero City is strong, because it is the capital of the brave and resourceful people for whom nothing is impossible!Eugene Tyschuk, Odessa
Translated by Maria Kryzhanovska