Tuesday, June 6

The Kazakhoz strengthens ties in ‘its’ embassy

Danat Mussayev, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Spain, was in front of his laptop one morning in his office on Avenida de los Madroños in Madrid and decided to type the name of his country into Google to check the results. Something caught his attention unexpectedly. ‘Kazakhoz’ was listed on his screen among various links on country information. He frowned with a mixture of incredulity and curiosity and clicked. His surprise was great when he came across a YouTube video in which José Antonio Sánchez, president of the Badajoz cycling team that gave birth to that nomenclature, explained the origins of the idea.

Congratulated by the initiative, the diplomat did not hesitate for a moment and, through a deputy from Extremadura, hurried to contact him to find out more details. In this way, he formalized an official invitation to visit the delegation of the Asian republic, a meeting that took place this Wednesday with the presence of five representatives of the club. “It was very beautiful and emotional, we would never have imagined something like this, it was a pleasant and close time,” says the Kazakhoz manager.

They were called for future meetings in order to strengthen ties and take advantage of synergies. “The idea is that we see each other more regularly, the ambassador told us that he would like to travel to Extremadura to meet the entire team.” In addition, Mussayev showed his willingness to mediate with companies interested in possible sponsorships as a gesture of correspondence for altruistic promotion. «They transmitted to us that we live the colors and the name of the country as much or more than any citizen there. For them it is very rewarding because it is difficult to find.

Also Read  Los gasolineros siguen sin recibir anticipos por los más de 50 millones de euros adelantados por los 20 céntimos

A hypothetical reception was addressed during the Vuelta a España dispute as it passed through Madrid. The idea is that they can coincide with Aleksandr Vinokurov, Kazakh cycling legend and one of those responsible for the name day of the Extremaduran team. And as a more ambitious goal, that they could take the start in an event in the land of the former Soviet republic. “It has been the beginning of a beautiful relationship and time will tell how far,” he says. The embassy will issue a press release that will be published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the meeting.

Members of Kazakhoz dressed in their clothing tribute to the Asian country

Kazakhoz Team

But what is the origin of the relationship between the club from Badajoz and the East Asian country? Its president, José Antonio González, was a lower category and semi-professional runner until he left for Catalonia for work reasons. There they offered him to take charge of training the kids of a team, but his schedule prevented him. They looked for an intermediate solution that consisted of guiding the new acolytes directly on the road, in the competitions. “From then on I was nicknamed Aleksandr Vinokurov.” The Olympic champion in 2016, in his last active stage fulfilled that same role. And that’s where it all started. “When we did hard sessions with the boys, we called them Kazakh training.”

Little by little it was installed in the imaginary incorporating new references. “When they asked me in Catalonia what was it like here, I jokingly replied ‘imagine, a Kazakh in Badajoz, which is all flat, used to mountain areas.” And evolution coined the definitive Kazajoz that would later identify them.

At the end of 2018 he returned to Badajoz and resumed the relationship with the old guard, although each one competed on their own. Some time later, they decided to shoot together and there the foundation of a team came to the fore that saw the light of day on December 31, 2020. The brainstorming about the name was unsuccessful. It didn’t matter, even the WhatsApp group for internal procedures identified with Kazakhoz, there was no going back. “We realized that he had a hook and that he generated curiosity.” In addition, they shared a philosophy with Astana, the leading team in Kazakhstan, “with the profile of a combative runner, who participated in breakaways and went for victory.”

The project was born in an unfavorable context, in the middle of a pandemic, but nothing stopped them, pedaling by pedaling. In 2021 they debuted in competition. The most immediate challenge was, in 4-5 years, to become a national reference in master road cycling, but the deadlines accelerated, because the podiums and meritorious performances were falling. Twelve intrepid adventurers embarked, in 2022 there were 25 and this year they have reached 34. The forecast is to compete in 90 events, including four Spanish Cups of different categories; in the master 30 they are leaders of the general.

The future lies in training and they aspire to create a school and, in the long term, 10-15 years from now, become part of professional cycling. The bet is serious and talented, proof of this is the signing of David Vizcaíno, summoned by the Spanish junior team and who resigned from Ecopilas to join the ranks of Kazakhoz. José Antonio González explains that they have already settled in the sector and “not two weeks go by without a broker calling me to tell me that we can count on him.” They take care of the details to the millimeter, just take a look at their social networks, and the selection of members is exhaustive. “We get to know each other deeply over coffee for an hour and a half to find out what is expected of the team, of cycling and how they approach it in their lives.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *