Mgr. Pavel Doležel

* 1940  

  • "Of course, you'll find cracks in everything. One way or another. They said the Peace Race was political. We haven't experienced it like that. Just once, I think in the Tatras... We were in a group, there was a Russian Saidkhuzin. I wanted to drive to the stadium first. Everyone knows what a "spurter" I was. When I couldn't do it technically, I didn't stand a chance. And I fell on the mouth. "-" Already at the stadium? "-" At the entrance to the stadium. People caught me and threw me back, I didn't even have to get on the bike. I continued and I was third. I was dissatisfied that I was cursing the Russians. And someone there, I think he was a secret agent, walked and watched what kind of person I was swearing at "his people". I can say that I personally had good contacts with the Russians, with Viktor Kapitonov, with Sajchudzhin. Many years after the Peace Race, when we came to Moscow or they came to us, we did everything we could for each other. The gentleman went there, and another gentleman came to him and said, 'Leave him alone, he just speaks a lot!' "

  • "You were still the coach of the national team in 1984. So you were hit by the ban on participation in Los Angeles. How did you find out? How did you experience it? You had an excellent team back then.... "-" We anticipated that when we were fifth or third, that we'll move upwards. Jirka Škoda was excellent, Jirka Pokorný eas excellent, Kostadinov excellent. I think the team, as which we set ourselves that goal - we wanted to be second, we would be able to fulfill it. But at the time we were racing somewhere in the Baltic republics, up there. There we learned from the radio that Russia will not go to Los Angeles, so of course the Czechia will not be able to attend also. And it happened, too. We knew we wouldn't go. I would say that it is a great pity, and I mean that in general that politics is intervening into sport."

  • "I have to remember this because the troops ran over my leg during the liberation of Cerna Hora. I don't know if they were Romanians or Russians, they ran over my leg, with car and cannon. But it was my fault I jumped in there. That would be weird, if I did not remember such a moment, because I was in the hospital in Brno in Černý Pole for a year. That I wouldn't remember a thing like that all my life - that would be weird! "-" So they probably broke your leg? " During the war or at the end of the war if your leg or hand was torn away, that was actually nothing. So I was glad that I ended up, how I ended up, they saved my leg in the hospital, even though it did not recover completely. I never allowed anyone to mess with it, the doctor next to Narodak, proffesor Mirek Slavik always told me"I will repair it for you." And I told him, that I don't want to, that it is OK as it is."

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    Praha, 25.06.2021

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    duration: 01:52:45
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His leg was crushed by a cannon during the war, yet he was King of Cycling

Pavel Doležel representing the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in the 1960s
Pavel Doležel representing the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in the 1960s
photo: archiv Pavla Doležela

Pavel Doležel was born on November 30, 1940 in the town of Černá Hora near Blansko and Brno. In less than five years, he suffered serious leg injuries when he jumped under the wheel of a car and cannon during the liberation of Cerna Hora by Allied troops. He was treated at the hospital for a year and his leg was saved. He started cycling at the age of 12 and moved to Favorit Brno when he was a teenager. In 1963, he rode for the first time as a representative of the Peace Race, considered the best cycling competition in the Eastern Communist bloc. In 1965, he finished second overall in the Peace Race and was declared King of Cycling. During his career, he won two stages of the Peace Race and was a long-time captain of the Czechoslovak team. At the World Cup, he finished thirteenth among the individuals. In 1974 he became a national team coach. At the Montreal Olympics in 1976, his charges took fifth place in the 100-kilometre team race and finished third at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. They also had a good chance of a medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where Czechoslovakia did not send its expedition due to a boycott ordered by the Soviet Union. At the 1975 and 1981 World Championships, he led the Czechoslovak team to bronze medals. From 1984 to 1988, Pavel Doležel coached the Greek cycling team, then the Slušovice collective farm team. From 1993 to 2005, he served as director of the Peace Race. In 2021 he lived in Všestary near Prague.