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Katusha’s Vladimir Karpets flies back to Movistar

PARIS (AFP) – Katusha’s Vladimir Karpets, a former winner of the Tour de France white jersey, will rejoin Movistar in 2012, the Spanish cycling outfit announced Friday. The 31-year-old Russian spent six years (2003-2008) under the leadership of manager Eusebio Unzue when the team was variously called Banesto, Iles Baleares and Caisse d’Epargne.

He signed for Katusha when the Russian-backed outfit joined the elite peloton but the Pamplona-based Karpets has been lured back by a two-year deal. Karpets is Movistar’s sixth signing for next season, joining Spaniards Javier Moreno, Jesus Herrada and Jonathan Castroviejo, Italian champion Giovanni Visconti and Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.

As well as being the best under-25 finisher at the Tour de France in 2004, Karpets notably won the Tour of Switzerland, in 2007. His top finish at a Grand Tour was the two seventh places he obtained at the Tour of Italy in 2005 and Tour of Spain in 2007.

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