Tanel Kangert and Janika Lõiv chosen as cyclists of the year

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Tanel Kangert. Source: ERR

The Estonian Cyclists' Union chose EF Education–Nippo cyclist Tanel Kangert as the best male cyclist of 2020 and mountain biker Janika Lõiv as the best woman cyclist of 2020.

Kangert finished seventh in a Giro d'Italia stage earlier in fall, got second place in a one-day race in Faun-Ardeche, France, was overall fourth in the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var and finished eighth overall in Paris–Nice.

Kangert said: "The season had gaps just as many other athletes, we were lucky to even finish our season in almost full capacity. The first couple of months, February and March, mattered most to me. And from there, I would point out Paris-Nice and all the weekends I competed in France before that. The start of the season was by far the best of my career."

Kangert said the season still had high value to him, especially in regards to his family, who he was able to spend time with this year. "Having lived in this visitation marriage for years, we saw that we can exist in the same room for months at a time. This will be one of the biggest challenges for athletes after their career ends, can they actually stay in one place and live with someone. It was a very instructive and pleasant year actually," the male cyclist of the year added.

The best female cyclist award was handed to mountain biker Janika Jõiv, who is in the process of training to reach the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. She currently ranks fifth in the world in women's mountain biking rankings.

Lõiv said: "I think this season was made special by the coronavirus, which changed all of my plans and I had to be very flexible. The most complicated and exciting period was a seven-day contest I participated in from my room. I will remember that for the rest of my life."

"It all comes down to training. I can certainly see progress in trainings, where power indicators have gotten better. And that is reflected in the results, which have been very stable. I can say that a strong step was taken this season," she added.

Lõiv will stay in Spain until May to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in July. "I train in a very small city called Mojacar. There are perfect conditions here for cycling. The roads are rather calm especially considering the coronavirus that has cut down on travel. I have mountain trails behind my house, I can train there and in the weight room. There are no limits and I could even say things are ideal" Lõiv praised.

Janika Lõiv speaking to ETV's "Sport" from Mojacar, Spain. Source: ERR

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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