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Venezuelan Ángel Pulgar Hopes to Win Gold Medal at 2015 Toronto

Venezuelan Ángel Pulgar Hopes to Win Gold Medal at 2015 Toronto

Posted by Juan Gavasa on March 10, 2015

Ángel Pulgar has already won a Pan-American title in team speed, back in 2011 Guadalajara, where he established a record in the discipline and got the first gold medal for Venezuela. As for Toronto, there are no other expectations but holding the first position on the podium.

He is the finisher in a team made up of Cesar Marcano and Hersony Canelon, because of his stamina on the track. “My best time is 59.700 seconds in 1 kilometer time trial”, Ángel expresses.

In terms of his training to attend the 2015 Pan-American Games, Pulgar says that in mid-March the Venezuelan cycling team will travel to Spain and spend three months training there, so they will later directly fly to Canada.

“In Toronto we’re going to face Colombian and Canadian cyclists, who are the strongest competitors on the track. We know them from other events and we know how far they can go”, Ángel Pulgar pointed out.

Besides the gold medal won as a team, the Venezuelan cyclist ranked fourth in individual speed during the past Pan-American edition.

Junto a sus compañeros de equipo, Hersony Canelón y César Marcano

A Way on Two Wheels

Ángel Pulgar has been formally riding a bicycle since he was 12 years old, when he joined Héctor Alvarado Cycling School, in Barquisimeto, western region of the country. “In 2004 I participated in a pre-junior championship and, afterward, I was taken to the team in Lara state, which gave the opportunity to stand for my country in junior championships”, he explains.

Precisely a World Junior Championship represented one of the most important moments in the Venezuelan sportsman’s career. It was the Aguascalientes World Cup, Mexico, 2007. “I got the bronze medal, my first world medal and Venezuela’s first victory in a world track championship”, he recalls.

Melbourne World Championship, Australia, was another outstanding moment in his career, where he ranked eighth and got his ticket to London Olympic Games, his first event at this level.

Nowadays, he has devoted his time to this sport, with nearly 5-hour-long daily trainings (Monday to Saturday), including sessions at the gym, road or track. “Athletes’ life is hard, we have to follow nutritional plans (mainly based on protein to develop muscular mass), daily trainings and short time to spend with the family”, Ángel Pulgar explains.

Speed at the Oval

The speed to complete the track plays a leading role in some of the tests to be passed by Pulgar. Although he says to be comfortable in such modes as kilometer time trial and team speed, he also participates in individual speed and keirin.

“We can make around 73 kilometers per hour, which entails high speed and balance”, he says.

Although they are highly trained, the speed developed by these athletes, the narrow space among bicycles and any mechanical mishap can be the perfect combination to cause an accident. The Venezuelan athlete recalls when “during the 2013 Bolivarian Games in Peru, I was in the team speed qualifying session and I got a flat tire. I fell down and got scrapes, no injure.”

Ángel Pulgar is 26 years old. He is disciplined and persistent in his sport, and he’s also cheerful: “your self-esteem has to be high.”

Los entrenamientos en la selección nacional son de lunes a sábado en sesiones de 4h30

The national team trains from Monday to Saturday in 4h30 sessions.

As for his latest competitions in 2014, he was the champion in the 1 kilometer time trial during the Pan-American Track Cycling Championship held in Aguascalientes, Mexico; and he won the silver medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games, Veracruz, with 1:01.456 in the same test.

Ángel Pulgar thinks that the Pan-American Games the main competition on the continent. Once he has competed in Toronto, he’ll focus his efforts on 2016 Río, by participating in 3 World Cups that give points to attend the Olympic Games.

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