In a rare interview, T-Mobile's time trial specialist Serguei Gonchar recently spoke with Cyclingnews European Editor Tim Maloney at the rider's home in Molvena, Italy.
The 36-year-old is one of the strongest time triallists in the pro peloton and 2006 has been a banner year for the rider from Grovno, who resides in north-eastern Italy's Veneto region in the same small town where fashion brand Diesel and motorcycle accessories brand Dainese were born. Gonchar has lived in the Veneto region for a decade and has integrated into a comfortable Italian lifestyle.
One of the side-benefits of Gonchar's two stage wins and stint in the yellow jersey was that he got his name back. A typing error on his passport condemned him to being referred to as 'Honchar' for years.
The fame that Tour success brings finally allowed him to set the record straight, "Yeah! In the last few years, people got used to calling me Honchar, especially in Italy, but that is not my name," he said.