Turkey’s Pride Nazım Bakırcı in the Season of 2011
The Season of 2011 ended as all eyes turned to the UCI points system. As the most successful athletes of the season who’ve been aiming for the olympics were listed in the classification, we all looked for Turkish riders on that list. Turkey, with a major breakthrough, had a quite successful season. Nazım Bakırcı, who makes us all proud was listed at the very first page, sharing the 38th place with David Moncoutie. Hence we’re sharng our interview with our successful 26-year-old rider with cycling fans. Now eventually it’s time to meet Nazım Bakırcı…
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: What do you think about the Season of 2011?
Nazım Bakırcı: The Season of 2011 had been a spectacular period for me and I consider it as the most successful seasonof my career. We achieved our goal. We wanted to say “We’re going to be at the London Olympics” and we succeeded in that. Yes, we’re going to be there.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: You’re at which stage of your career?
If I may split my career as before and after 2011, I just started my career. If we consider what we’re going to do and what we want to do, this season is just a beginning…
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: What’s the major goal of your career?
Nazım Bakırcı: Maybe we need some time for this. But I think that I have a versatile character. I want my name to referred in Grand Tours. This may not be possible right now but in time this is going to happen. The goal is not 1-week tours but I’m aiming for winning 2 or 3 week tours
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: We know about your climbing talent. At the last race of the season, the Tour of Alanya, you won the sprint jersey. This means that you’re a versatile athlete. Can you say that you’re versatile? If you try, can you be an assertivee candidate for the general classification?
Nazım Bakırcı: This is a really nice question, thank you. My dominant talent is climbing but I’m aiming for grand tours so, climbing may not be enough for that. I’m a versatile athlete, I feel that and I got the results of my hard work. I’m definitely confident about this, and if we consider this season, I gained more points at the general classification.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: How’s your endurance at the Grand Tours? Do 1-week tours suit you better or can you manage the Grand Tours as well?
Nazım Bakırcı: I raced a 2-week tour this season and I’m satisfied with the result. Before anything else, you have to believe in it. As I said before, I want to race in grand tours because I rely on my endurance, I believe it and I can do it.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: You share the same spot with David Moncoutie at the 38th place. Moncoutie won the 11th stage in Vuelta and he has the climbing jersey of Vuelta in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. You also had multiple victories this year and the sum of your points are equal. Moncoutie and Bakırcı has 213 points. How do you feel about having the same points of 36-year old Moncoutie as a 25 year-old athlete?
Nazım Bakırcı: As for David Moncoutie, I can say that he’s a successful and an experienced rider and I said before, my career just began but I have the same points with a Vuelta hero and I have a feeling that I should also be racing in Vuelta.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: What can you say about the Season of 2012? You have any goals?
In the beginning of the 2011 season, I had determined my goals for 2012 as well. If I could’ve won the necessary points in 2011, I wanted to be in London in 2012. Also we have a quite important tour in our country and this is also one of our goals.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: Your success overrides the “foreign riders are more successful” theory of the Turkish riders. In this season, you proved that one could be successful as aTurkish rider with your points. What can you tell the Turkish riders who suppress their self confidence saying that foreign riders are more successful?
Again a good question… I’m furious with the people who think that “Foreign are better”. That have two arms and two legs as we do so we’re all equal. The sole difference is that in the past, foreign were working harder as Turkish were working less and raced less. Now this is all gone and we’re close to them. Anytime soon, we’ll work for the top 3 on those lists.
Aylin KOÇ/CTR: What are your recommendations for our young athletes?
Your question refers me as an old athlete then, Mrs. Aylin :) My fellows, you’ve chosen the right sport. It’s nice to be successful and as you achieve, you’ll aim for higher and higher. Don’t lose your enthusiasm and the love for cycling. You’re luckier. Our country is much more conscious about cycling now…
Emphasizing that Nazım is just 25 years old, his career has just begun. After his consecutive victories this year, he is listed with the worldwide stars at the UCI Europe Tours ranking. Turkish cycling fans who follow David Moncoutie, may now want to follow stars in our country as well. Nazım Bakırcı is one of those stars in our Country. My facebook followers may remember that I emphasized that they must “Like” the Turkish riders’ pages as well since they really deserve this. We can see that foreign riders are stronger theory came to an end with this success of Nazım.