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Russian cyclist Mikhail Yakovlev decided to move to represent Israel after he was unable to continue competing internationally due to his Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine and a ban from the World Cycling Union (UCI). ).
Just last year, Israel-born Yakovlev finished the World Championships in France with a bronze medal, finishing third behind Dutch riders Harry Labrissen and Geoffrey Hoagland in the Keirin race.
As reported by the Russian channel Match TV, Yakovlev's parents confirmed the news and said that at the beginning of the month he received a new passport and moved to Israel. which he is wearing in uniform in the colors of the Israel Premier Tech professional cycling team.
Sergei Kobpens, coach of the Russian national track cycling team, said he was disappointed with Yakovlev's departure.
“It's a shame that we lose such a talented racer like Mikhail”, — Kobfents told RIA Novosti.
“Nothing predicted such a decision, because at the end of July he competed in the Russian Championship. Everyone is free to make their choice, but for us it is a loss. I didn’t talk to him about this, he did everything very secretly, in early August he called the president of our federation and said that he was changing his citizenship,” the Russian coach added.
The national teams of Russia and Belarus were forbidden to participate in International Cycling Union (UCI) events due to the war in Ukraine. Cyclists from these countries can still compete in professional teams regardless of their nationality.
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