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Marek Canecky

The lastest news: Marek Canecky (ex Salcano Arnavutkoy continental team) is joining CK BB 2013 squad. We are bringing an interwiev with the new CK BB member, winner of stages Grand Prix Chantal Biya, or Tour de Marmara, bronze medalist in Slovakia National Championship 2011 behind Sagan and Jurco.

 

1. You are the only genuine Cycling Team Banská Bystrica (CT BB) cyclist from your very beginnigs. You joined the team in your youth categories. Team was called Red Lobster Cycling Team then. How do you recall those days?
I like to go back in memories to my cycling beginnings. It was my brother who set up the Red Lobster Cycling Team (now CT BB) for his own needs as well as for mine. Looking back I see he was my coach, my sponsor, a second father and even a training partner. My cycling beginnings were tough, I was struggling just to survive in the peloton – I guess everyone in cycling has lived through this phase. I soon started to improve bit by bit, mostly thanks to my brother’s advise and coaching skills of late coach Kundrata. My performance was boosted mainly by the high amount of race kilometers enhanced by the Regional Cycling Cup. Really an excellent training with the Elite riders living in the neighbourhood.

2. You very soon joined the youth cycling team of ŽP Podbrezová. You even managed to make it to the Junior National Team along with Sagan, Novák and Gavenda what was your first international experience in cycling. How do you remember your Junior age as far as your cycling is concerned?
Before joining ŽP Podbrezová, I spent one full cyclocross season in Cycling Team Krupina. Mr.Morozuk, those days manager in Podbrezová, told me I had to win the Slovak Cup in Cyclocross first if I was to be admitted to Podbrezová. I did win it that year, so I joined Podbrezová where I spent 7 years until my U23 category. I liked my Junior races a lot, since racing in Juniors is obviously less demanding than in the Men category. We raced a lot in Juniors, also did lots of international races with the National team. We were a pretty good team back then – Gavenda, Novák, Goc, Vyšňa, Sagan. We also managed to win some prize money. But it was more about having fun and enjoying us riding, no real pressures about achieving good results.

3. When you entered the Elite Men category you were still in ŽP Podbrezová. The team was soon after cancelled and closed down because of the financial crisis. You joined CT BB once again for a short time and a year in the UCI training centre for talented U23 riders followed. What are your memories of the time spent in Aigle as part of the UCI Training Centre Team?
My first year in the Elite Men category was very successful indeed. I  managed to get my first UCI points at that time. Looking back I recognize I owe a lot to my parents who supported me financially – I went for a spring training to Mallorca, a preparation not granted to everyone. I prepared myself well for the season there, I trained with Ivan Viglaský and my brother Andrej. I didn’t expect the beginning of the season to be so successful for me though. A dismiss of ŽP Podbrezová team soon after was a true shock and an unpleasant obstacle in the season. CT BB led by Martin Fraňo gave us a hand and helped us to overcome the bad times. Of course the conditions in CT BB were uncomparable to the huge budget of ŽP Podbrezová, but CT BB represented a hope and a promise of a cycling future
for us. Some of the riders quit cycling back then, some continued to struggle. It was the decisive moment when you either stop or carry on in your endeavour – everyone knows moments like that in their lives. Not too much time after, an invitation to a UCI Training Centre for Martin Mahďar was addressed to the Federation. Martin Mahďar declined the offer and the invitation would normally get void if there was not Martin Fraňo who fought for my acceptance as a replacement. Chances were low, but he did his best and succeeded in getting an invitation for a 2 months trial period. It was my last year in the U23 category. My goals were set high, I longed to stay the whole year on the UCI team and do the so called ‘U23 Tour de France‘ race, the Tour de L’Avenir. 15 riders started the season at UCI and only 6 of us would make it to the Tour de L’Avenir. I managed to renew my contract from a 2 months trial period to over half the season and was given a chance to show the best of me in a Nations Cup in Canada – I finished 12th overall and 6th and 9th in stages. UCI points again. But the most important – my performance persuaded my coach to put me in the Tour de l’Avenir selection. No goals were given to me prior to the race, so I was not under any pressure. That affected my good results in the race the most. I finished 17th overall, with my best placing in stage in 12th position and two other times I finished in Top 20. The majority of Top 30 guys from this race are already in ProTour or ProConti teams  - take John Degenkolb who got the Green Jersey in Avenir to mention just one.


4. How did you manage to get a professional contract in a Manisaspor, later Salcano team after having completed your successful season in the UCI Training Centre?
It was again Martin Fraňo, a very good friend of mine, who sent out tens of applications on behalf of my name to various foreign teams after the season finished. But as my palmares looked anyhow but exceptional to these teams’ managers, I only got invitation from a Turkish Manisasport and a Czech Whirlpool Hradec Králové. I also addressed Dukla Trenčín, but was not given the chance to race for them. So it was either the Czech Hradec Králové or a new Turkish team with no history at all. I even travelled to Hradec to meet Mr.Vávra and the coach Mr.Fiala. I was about to enter the Elite Men category, I was not a student anymore, so naturally I expected a contract offer from their side. Financial conditions were worlds apart when comparing Turkey and Hradec, I would barely pay my insurance from the offered salary of the later one. But still the decision was hard to make – Whirlpool was a renowned team with great race calendar, many people were telling me not to speculate and accept Whirlpool. It was Martin Fraňo and my brother Andrej who encouraged me to try the Turkish team on the contrary, take the risk and get the possibility to prove what I’m capable to do. I know I chose right back then. I joined the Turkish team, we all were provided with a really good material and I got to spend the whole winter in training camps in a mild Turkish climate. I was even given the chance to show my qualities along with ProTour teams in Tour the Turkey. Of course I set myself realistic goals for the race, what else can you expect when surrounded by riders such as Greipel and Petacchi. I imagined myself going into a break-away in a mountainous stage and possibly getting some points in the Best Climber competition and hopefully getting on the podium with this jersey for at least one day as a bonus. I partially succeeded – I did go in a break-away, but I missed the jersey by only 2 points. Now I know I could have gotten it, but I lacked the experience back then. I can tell honestly, that the years spent in Turkish team and in the UCI Training Camp were the best years of my life. Not only in terms of my cycling results, but also speaking of the great time we had. Carefree times.

5. Many people still remember your long break-aways in HC Tour of Turkey. You started in this race twice, fought for the Best Climber jersey and a stage victory. Could you describe how this biggest Turkish race is organized?
Tour of Turkey is a really nice race, very well organized, truly a race on a World Tour level. It consists of 8 stages – 8 days of 2-4 hours long live TV coverage from the sunny Turkey. It is thus a great promotion of Turkey and it’s tourism, promoting mainly the seacoast area with sunny beaches. The race popularity increases year by year. I was astonished that during the duration of the race, all the country follows it despite cycling not being as popular among people as football. People line up in the streets just like we are used to seeing it in Tour de France or Giro races. Really, the atmosphere is great, unique. When I was in the break-away and fighting for the Best Climber jersey, people along the street supported me and shouted my name as I was passing them by. I even noticed a shepherd taking care of his herd of goats up in the mountains was listening to a small portable radio and followed the whole stage.

 

6. You got to go to many big races while member of the Salcano team. What were your team’s best results and accomplishments?
I cannot consider my last year’s season on the Salcano Arnavutkoy team as a good one. I disappointed not only myself, but also other people who believed in me, gave me chance to be on the team and logically expected some good results from my side. I did have some partial results, but nothing big, nothing really worth mentioning. But as far as the results of my team-mates are concerned, we hade a pretty good season. Especially the Serb Ivan Stevic had a good year. Our team
won the Tour of Sochi where I actually managed to get the Best Climber jersey by winning all 7 mountain primes in the longest, 249km long stage. I managed to keep the jersey despite being at disposal of Stevic to guard and protect his yellow jersey. My best chance to present myself this year was again in the Tour of Turkey. I was in a leading break away, but was unluckily overrun by the peloton at the 500m sign before the finish. I knew I was not strong enough to win in sprint and I wasn’t interested in finishing in 5th or 7th place. So I bet everything on one card, I spared energy for the one decisive moment – I took my risk, but it didn’t work out. The strongest man of our group won, a Quick Step rider Keisse – eloton got back to him only at the finish line. I learned a lot in this stage. I disappointed my team, they were hoping for a top 5 place what would mean a lot to them on their home soil in such a difficult race. I literally wasted all my year and I sincerelly hope not to waste another season again.

7. You will be rejoining the Slovak Cycling Team Banská Bystrica after 2 years spent abroad. What are your plans?

Although I am going back to an amateur club, with no salary, I am excited to be back on my home team. I would like to prove I am still capable to achieve good results. I’m back and I’m eager to train, eager to race. I now appreciate much more what I have – I understood none of it is for granted. I’m looking forward to race again with my old friends, I do believe this season will be a good one for us. I’m excited about the first upcoming races and about my new bike. I should also be getting a brand new time trial special, the same Lampre-Merida guys use. Our race schedule is full, so I believe I will not lack good quality race kilometers. I hope to do well in Tour the Slovakia and in the National Championships – I would like to make it to the podium again as I did in 2011 when I finished 3rd, only Sagan and Jurčo beat me that day. I will also try to do my best in the National Championships in Time Trial. It’s very well possible I will go back to cyclocross racing in the fall as it’s the priority of the team – there are already brand new carbon cyclocross bikes ready for us. If I prove my qualities in races and if I have an exceptional season, there is also a chance to move to the Lampre-Merida ProTour team what is a huge challenge to me. I will definitelly do my best this year, challenge and motivation is there.

Thoroughtful analysis of optimal position on the bike provided by BG FIT technology, by BIKEPRO BANKÁ BYSTRICA.
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