PARIS (AFP) — Katusha announced on Monday that three-time Olympic champion Viatcheslav Ekimov would replace general manager Hans-Michael Holczer.
Russian Ekimov, who won gold in the team pursuit at the 1988 Olympics and the time trial title at the 2000 and 2004 Games, worked as a sports director with RadioShack before joining new Pro Continental squad Rusvelo as a consultant in 2012.
“Following the purpose of further dynamic development of the Russian professional cycling, the management of the Russian Global Cycling Project made changes in the management of World Tour Katusha Team,” the team said in a press release on Monday. “The known Russian specialist, the three times Olympic champion Vyacheslav Ekimov who is also the adviser of Igor Makarov, president of Russian Cycling Federation and the chairman of Board of Directors of MGK ‘ITERA’, is appointed to the post of general manager of Katusha Team as well as youth teams Itera-Katusha.
“On the position of general manager Vyacheslav Ekimov will replace German specialist Hans-Michael Holzer.”
The 46-year-old was named the Russian cyclist of the 20th century in his homeland.
Spaniard Joaquim Rodríguez, second in the Giro d’Italia and third in the Vuelta a España this year, is the team’s leading rider. L’Equipe reported on Monday that tension between Holczer and Rodríguez may see the former ousted from the team. The Spaniard, who is set to become the overall champion when the WorldTour closes in China this week, complained over a lack of communication from the team regarding contract renegotiations.