European Games: Alo Jakin won silver in men’s road race


European Games have started perfectly for the Estonian team as Estonian cyclist Alo Jakin won the silver medal in the men’s road race. Martin Laas and Mihkel Räim finished in the TOP20.

The men’s road race was held on the streets of Minsk, with a distance of 180km consisting of 15-kilometer circles. Some 16 seconds after the winner Davide Ballerini crossed the finish line, 32-year-old Estonian Alo Jakin led the three-man group to silver.

Jakin, who won the first international medal in his career, admitted that he did not even hope to get the award when he went to the starting line.

“It is a team sport and even though we started with the hope of getting medals, we had a different endgame in mind. Four laps before the finish line we were discussing how we were feeling and what we should do – we were ready to attack and we decided that I would be the one to do that. I gave it my all and thank God it worked out well and I didn’t let anyone down. I'm very satisfied with our entire team and with myself.

 The winner was clearly stronger, I am very pleased with my second place. This medal is a great success for me, I can honestly say that it was a surprise and I it was not even hoping for it,” Jakin said.

According to Jaan Kirsipuu, the head coach of the Estonian national team, Alo Jakin's silver medal came as a surprise.

"On the one hand, second place is above expectations, but on the other hand, we were expecting it, because the medal was our goal. But the plan was to give the chance to Martin Laas and Mihkel Räim, but as everybody is in good shape, we had agreed before the start that if someone else seems to be in a better position, they can try their luck. In that case, whoever goes, we will trust him and let him do his ride.

I found out later that Mihkel Räim gave Alo the push to try and attack. He did it but at some point the others caught up with him and a very strong group was in the forefront. Alo was fortunate enough to stay there, he used his abilities and pulled the chestnuts out of the fire. Throughout his whole career, Alo has been the helper of the team and rarely has been able to do his own ride. Today he received his medal for his lifework,” Kirsipuu said.