According to the press centre of the regional government, 4.8 thousand cyclists participated in the Voronezh Velogorod–2017 festival on 27 May. Igor Titov, the leader of the VeloVoronezh society, explained that among the participant of the event were cyclists from Lisbon, Havana, Columbia, as well as guests from Liski, Novovoronezh, Lipetsk, Novy Oskol, and Belgorod. The festival took place in Admiralteyskaya Square on Saturday evening, 27 May.
A special prize (a top class bike) was awarded by the governor, Alexey Gordeyev , to Alexander Kopeikin, a resident of Voronezh. Traditionally, the winner of the prize was chosen at the Velonoch event which was held during the festival. In 2017, the organisers decided to give the prize to the winner of an intellectual game.
The six players for the quiz were chosen randomly from among all the cyclists who registered for the festival. Alexander Kopeikin demonstrated good knowledge of the history of Voronezh and cycling societies, the biography of the philanthropist Wilhelm Stoll, who brought the first bicycle to Voronezh and started the first cycling races. The prize was presented by the Head of the Regional Department of Physical Education and Sports of the Voronezh Region, Vladimir Kadurin.
Also, the participant chose Yana Bondareva from Liski as the queen of the event. Yana was the fourth finalist of the competition. She told the audience that she had cycled to the festival from Liski. She covered 120km in four hours. On Sunday, 28 May, Yana planned to take part in the bicycle race in Voronezh and then cycle back home to Liski. Yana received a bike as a present.
Another bicycle was given to Yana Ternovykh. In summer 2014, she was cycling when a car ran into her. Yana has had many operations and went through rehabilitation. For a long time, she could not walk and in 2015 she visited the Velonoch event in a wheelchair. However, Yana was very determined to recover and ride her bike again. The organisers of Velonoch event decided to support the strong lady with a present.
The track of the event was 15km long. The column of cyclists set off from Admiralteiskaya Square at 20:30. The participants cycled along Massalitinova quay to Severny bridge, then in the opposite direction to VOGRES bridge and then to the finish in Admiralteiskaya square. The bicycle parade was accompanied with a radio tour by Voronezh history experts.
In 2016, the number of participants reached 8 thousand people. The leader of the VeloVoronezh society, Igor Titov, explained to the reporter of RIA “Voronezh” that the number of participants decreased this year due to changes in the event’s format. In 2017, all the traffic was diverted from the streets where the event was held and the distance was decreased. The time of the bicycle parade also changed: the cyclists started 2.5 hours earlier than in 2016.
The first Velonoch event was held in 2012. The participants of the event gathered near the sport complex “Yubileiny” and paraded the central streets of the left and right bank districts of Voronezh. Meanwhile, a radio station broadcast the commentaries of experts in the history of Voronezh who told the listeners about the places that the bicycle parade was passing by. The fist year, the number of the participants was 150 cyclists. In 2016, the number reached 8 thousand people. In 2017, the event was turned into a festival.
Information for this article was provided by the following website: https://riavrn.ru/news/na-velogorod-2017-priekhali-pochti-5-tys-voronezhtsev/
Photo by Vitaly Grass
Text by Yulia Fiedorova