4 - The mountain biking refugee

An interview with Sina Solouksaran, International mountain biking legend, who in 2011, was on his way to representing Iran at the Asian Mountain Bike Continental Championships in China, when he was kicked off the team for nothing more than admission to belonging to a non-Muslim Faith.  

“I wanted to race for my country, for the sport of Mountain Bike Racing, not for a religion”

Leaving his family behind, and assuming refugee status, Sina found himself in Turkey, able to race, but prohibited from racing for his country.  He has not seen them for 3 years and he recently missed his Sister’s wedding.  With no American Embassy in Iran, this situation shows little chance of changing in the future.

Still a refugee, Sina’s path has led him from Turkey, to Seattle and now to Denver.

Officially supported by Giant Bicycles in the US, and ironically by Giant Turkey, he has managed to podium in many of Colorado’s premium Mountain Bike Pro Races, but all of those victories come without the all-important UCI points (Cycling’s World Governing body).  Lack of points mean that Sina starts races at the back of the starting grid and sponsors are not attracted without results.  Without sponsor support, specifically equipment and travel support, he is stuck in a vicious circle.

If his tenacity, courage and determination don’t prove that he has the mettle to be the World Champion Sina knows he can be, the world of Mountain Bike Racing is the loser.

Please contact me if you can help Sina to meet his goals.

Links to organizations and companies mentioned in this episode of Bikes And...have been listed below the photos

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 Sina wearing his Team Giant Jersey

Sina wearing his Team Giant Jersey

 Sina in Iran (middle in orange & white), just after he was kicked off the team.  The team was on their way to China.

Sina in Iran (middle in orange & white), just after he was kicked off the team.  The team was on their way to China.

 Sina racing in Turkey, Erciyes Peak in the background. Copyright Seb Rogers - https://www.cranked.cc/

Sina racing in Turkey, Erciyes Peak in the background. Copyright Seb Rogers - https://www.cranked.cc/

 On the podium in Turkey.

On the podium in Turkey.

 Racing in Colorado

Racing in Colorado

 Another day at the office

Another day at the office

 On the podium in Colorado

On the podium in Colorado