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Alexander Kolobnev still waiting for Olympic medal following Rebellin’s disqualification


Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha) is starting to think he’ll never see an Olympic medal that should be his following the disqualification of Davide Rebellin during the 2008 Olympic Games.

Rebellin tested positive for CERA and was disqualified from the silver medal. Bronze medalist Fabian Cancellara has already seen his result adjusted and received his new medal in a ceremony with Swiss officials. Kolobnev, who crossed the line fourth, still doesn’t know if he’ll ever receive a medal.

There is some talk of a medal presentation during Katusha’s team presentation in Moscow on January 26, but Kolobnev says he remains in the dark.

VeloNews caught up with the Russian one-day specialist last week during the presentation of the 2011 Vuelta a España, and Kolobnev seemed to be losing patience over the slow pace of sport justice.

Q. Any word on the elusive Olympic medal?

A. Not yet, I don’t know what’s going on. The Russian Olympic committee has not contacted me. For them, it’s something that doesn’t seem to be interesting. Maybe I will be getting the medal at the team presentation, but they should contact me before then, no? Maybe there will be a presentation there with the medal. I am tired of all this.

Q. Do you feel this medal is yours or are you tired of hearing about it?

A. In the end I want to get this medal just to have it. Everyone keeps talking about this medal, that it should be mine, but I don’t have it yet. So once I get it — if I get it — then I can put in my home next to the other prizes I have from cycling, and I can finally be happy. And I can finally forget about it!

Q.Looking back at the 2010 season, you had some big results, including second at Liège and a strong Tour de France debut, would you rate it as your best season ever?

A. Well, in some ways, yes, I had some big results compared to the other seasons. I had some nice results, but the end of the season didn’t go as well as I had expected. The world championships were not hard enough for me. And at Lombardia, I had really good form and I wanted to win that race, but I had a bad crash after 70km and could not go for the victory. So in that regard, the end of the season was shitty. In general, I can say it was good overall.

Q. What are you expectations for 2011?

A. I think it will be even better for me this year. I will try to get better form early. Maybe I will try to do some good results at Paris-Nice and Basque Country and of course the classics. I will also try to do much better in the Tour de France. Last year was my debut and I didn’t know the best way to prepare for the Tour. I think I am able to find the right way this year because I saw that I made some mistakes in the training plan to be in the good shape for the Tour.

Q.You always do well in the worlds, but this year’s course doesn’t suit you as well, will you race in Denmark?

A. I don’t know yet, because the course is for the sprinters. Maybe I will prefer to end earlier this season and begin earlier next year. I have not seen the course, but when I was in Saxo Bank, we did some training there. The guys showed me where the course would probably go and there’s not much of a climb at all. There’s just a bridge. We expect rain and cold in Denmark at that time, it will be a hard race, but the sprinters will be good there. I will not have a chance to get a medal this year.

Q. How was your experience racing with the Russian Katusha team last year?

A. Of course, it’s different. The feeling inside the team was very good for me. It put me in the front row as a leader. It’s a good feeling and I have some extra responsibility as well. This was a challenge for me and I expect to be able to grow in this role for this season.

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