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Lithuanians Tobias, Stagniunas follow Shpilband

2011 Skate America bronze medalists go with coach to Novi

Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas are moving their training base to Novi, Mich.
Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas are moving their training base to Novi, Mich. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(06/14/2012) - Lithuanian ice dancers Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas, the bronze medalists at 2011 Skate America, have announced they will train with Igor Shpilband at his new coaching home in Novi, Mich.

Tobias and Stagniunas made the announcement via their official Facebook page.

"After a long and painful process, we would like to announce that we are remaining with Igor Shpilband as our coach. We will forever be grateful to Marina Zoueva for all she has given us both as skaters and people. We will miss the skaters remaining in Canton so much, we were all a family. We will always consider ourselves a team with all of them and our friendships will endure throughout these changes and long after they are over."

Tobias and Stagniunas started skating together in 2010. They won the Lithuanian title in 2011 and wrapped up their first season together with a 14th-place finish at the world championships.

Following their podium finish at Skate America in Ontario, Calif., the duo placed fifth at the Rostelecom Cup, ninth at the European championships and 18th at worlds.

Stagniunas was also coached by Shpilband and Zoueva in his previous partnership, with Katherine Copely.

The Lithuanians are the second team to make the move to Novi, as Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates announced Tuesday they would train there with Shpilband.