Mihkel Räim, Filter Road Cup winner 2012

 
   Mihkel Räim won the Filter Road Cup in 2012. He is also the yougest ever winner, being only 19 years old at the time of victory. Here's the interview that took place in January 2013.
   
How important do you think the Filter Road Cup win was for your carreer- did it affect its course?

   I think every first place is sweet, but this win was a bit different, since I have not won many cups over my carreer. It did not affect the course of my carreer very much, but it is good to be winner of the most prestigious Road cup in in 2012.
 
What do you reme,ber most about the Cup?
   I remember best the moment at Pandivere Rattaralli  with very strong wind. After 1 km from the start there was a side wind section and our team went to the front to split the peloton. It was a good feeling to be out in front with 11 guys of whom 7 were from my club. 

How attentively do you follow the news aroud the Filter Road Cup?
   During the season I kept myself well informed. I had to calculate the points to make sure the Cup was in my favour. I certainly read all the articles about the Cup.

The number of stages in the Filter Road Cup has changed over the years. What do you think would be the optimal number of stages  and what kind of circuits should the Cup prefer?
   The number of stges is just right at the moment. Although I would like there to be more, amateur cyclists must be taken into account as well. It would be nice if the stages were spread out across Estonia. At the moment places like Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are out of the picture. I do understand the other factors that come into play as well- ferrys etc. 

What profession do you work in?
  As I signed a contract with the Amore & Vita cycling team in November, I will be employed as a professional athelete. 

Would you recommend youth and amateur cyclists to participate in the Filter Road Cup and why?
   I would recommend participating, because young riders can gain experience and amateur cyclists can compete with their friends. The Estonian local level of cyclists is very decent and a rider, who does good here, is well-equipped to do well abroad. The Estonian level should not be underestimated!

Your message to the cycling folk?
   Enjoy the sport, whether as amateurs or pros. Let's be competitive in races, but remain friends after we cross the finish line.