Another year for Konyshev

Dmitri Konyshev is often asked when he will finally put an end to his professional cycling career, but the 40 year-old is determined to do the job as long as he physically and mentally can. "As long as I win and I have fun, I won't leave the bike," Konyshev said. In his second season with Professional Continental team LPR, the Russian won a stage in the Vuelta Ciclista Asturias on June 17, which proves him right.

Furthermore, the man who will celebrate his 41st birthday on February 18 next year, is confident he can still be an asset to his Swiss team which he rates as being stronger next season. "I continue for myself, but also for my team, which means a lot to me," he said. "After one experimental season within the pro peloton, we made a giant leap in terms of quality this year by winning 18 races and getting several prestigious placings. And in 2006, the team will be even stronger as we have all the premises to grow further."

Unfortunately, the team will miss Pavel Tonkov next season, as the close friend of Konyshev has decided to hang up the bike for good. "Pavel is a very honest person," Konyshev said. "When he felt that his power began to fade, he favoured his dignity above the money and, out of respect for himself and the team, took the only logical decision. I think that even when he said goodbye, Tonkov showed that he is a authentic champion."

Thinking about his own future, Konyshev of course admitted that this step loomed near for him too. "I would like to stay within the world of cycling," he answered when asked what his post-career plans were. "In the role of a manager or directeur sportif, I could offer a great amount of experience - it would be a sin not to do so."

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