25-year old Andrey Amador Bipkazacova, yesterday’s stage winner in the Giro d’Italia and the first Costa Rican to win a stage in a Grand Tour, has an older brother who also cycles – although Ivan, who’s five year’s older than Andrey, has only raced as an amateur in his native Costa Rica.
The two have an interesting heritage. Their paternal grandmother is Spanish while their mother is a Russian immigrant who arrived in the country after meeting and marrying their Costa Rican father. Continue reading →
The defending champion in this week’s Tour of Turkey, Aleksandr Efimkin, is a twin. He won the title last year, arguably his career best-result, after joining US ProContinental Team Type 1, having previously ridden for AG2R La Mondiale, Quick Step and Barloworld.
Vladimir and Aleksandr Alexandrovich Efimkin were born 15 minutes apart in Kuybyshev (now Samara), Russia in December 1981. Like most youngsters, they tried a variety of sports before Aleksandr settled on cycling. Vladimir soon followed suit. Early success in winning races saw them move to a sports-specific school to continue their development.
Jelle (left) and Dennis Vanendert (image courtesy of Lotto-Belisol)
There’s a pair of brothers riding in today’s Amstel Gold Race – the Vanenderts, Jelle and Dennis – who are both with Belgian team Lotto-Belisol. Jelle transferred from last year’s Omega Pharma-Lotto and co-captains the new team, whose intention is to focus largely on Belgian talent. This vision differs substantially from that of Omega Pharma, hence the split. Omega Pharma are now very happily and successfully co-habiting with Quick Step.
One of those young Belgian talents, getting a chance to fulfil their dream with the team, is Dennis, Jelle’s 23-year old younger brother, who puts his good fortune down to his brother putting in a word for him. I think it’s a bit more than that. Dennis spent 2011 in Farnese Vini’s under-23 squad where he was fourth in Pistoia-Fioranao and third in Giro del Medio Brenta. He has also posted some very promising results in the junior and espoir ranks both on the road and in cyclo-cross, including winning the Belgian junior cyclo-cross championships in 2006.