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Salzwedel leads Russian team in Australian criterium series

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Alexi Markov gets his chompers into some food.

Alexi Markov gets his chompers into some food. (Image credit: Shane Stokes/
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Former Denmark manager Heiko Salzwedel

Former Denmark manager Heiko Salzwedel (Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Former Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) road cycling coach Heiko Salzwedel will return to Australia in charge of a powerful Russian national team for the inaugural NSW Grand Prix Series to be staged from December 8-12.

Salzwedel established the AIS road cycling program in Canberra in 1990 following an outstanding record as national track coach of East Germany, where he won numerous world championships.

In his seven years working for the AIS, Salzwedel oversaw the emergence of riders such as Kathy Watt, Robbie McEwen, Cadel Evans, Patrick Jonker, Henk Vogels and Matt White.

Salzwedel has also been integral in the development of British and Danish cycling, taking the latter to a silver medal in the teams pursuit at the Beijing Olympics whilst the former has enjoyed immense success on the track and with the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish on the road.

He'll now be working with a Russian squad that will compete in the NSW Grand Prix Series and has an eye on developing it ahead of the London Olympic Games, much in the manner with which he built Denmark's team before the 2008 Olympics.

The Russians have Alexei Markov heading a six-man team, with Evhenia Romanuta competing in the Honda Insight Women's series. Markov will head a powerful combination that includes Ivan and Evheny Kavaliev, Alex Serov, Valery Valynin and Alex Khatunzev.

Markov, the 31-year-old Katusha pro, won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics when he was just 16 years of age, adding silver and bronze medals at Olympics and world championships since then and has won numerous races throughout Europe.

Alexander Serov, also a ProTour rider with Katusha, has been one of the mainstays of Russian teams during the past decade and has won five world cups and stages in the Tour of Britain whilst 24-year-old Ivan Kovalev has won World Cup scratch races on the track and is a major part of the Russian teams pursuit squad.

The NSW Grand Prix Series starts in Bathurst on December 8 with a twilight race, followed by Parramatta Park on the evening of December 9 before going under lights on December 10 at Gosford, adjacent to Blue Tongue stadium.

On December 11 riders will compete on Arden Street, Coogee, with Network Nine televising two hours of live action from 2pm to 4pm before wrapping up the series on Sunday, December 12 at Cronulla, with the action televised by Network Nine from 12 noon to 2pm.

For further information contact Phill Bates AM on (02) 9570 5556 or

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