A Russian cyclist has avoided having to race under a neutral flag after his request to switch nationalities was granted.
Pavel Sivakov always had plenty of options when it came to which nation to represent, after being born in Italy and moving to France when he was an infant.
The Tour de France rider used to compete for Russia , but is now able to race under the French flag after a request to the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The 24-year-old explained that he had fast-tracked a process that he had been considering "for some time" due to his opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .
"I was born in Italy and moved to France when I was one year old," Sivakov said. Pavel Sivakov will now race as a French rider "France is where I grew up and was educated and where I fell in love with riding my bike which led me to racing. It feels like my home.
"I have wanted to become a French national for some time and had made the request to the UCI, but given what is happening in the Ukraine at the moment, I wanted to fast track this.
"I want to thank the UCI and the team at Ineos Grenadiers for supporting me with this process and helping make this a reality. To now have the opportunity to race as a French national in international events makes me incredibly happy."It would be a dream to race in Paris at the 2024 Olympics for France and this […]