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PARIS (AFP) – The Katusha team will make history at this year’s Tour de France after announcing on Monday that they would be tackling the race with the first ever all-Russian team in the event’s 108-year history.
“Being at the Tour de France is always something to be proud of but being there with a team that is 100 percent Russian is, from a sporting point of view, an historic event,” said team manager Andrei Tchmil.
“We know that we will be under the spotlight so we’ll try our best to be a credit to our country.
“Beyond all the celebrations, though, we are not here just to make up the numbers. The main goal, as always, is to be a protagonist.
“Our performance, when we cross the finishing line on the Champs Elysees, won’t be judged by wins but instead by the courage and the commitment we put into every single stage”.
The Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez, one of the team leaders, has taken a break which rules him out of the Tour. After finishing fifth in the Giro d’Italia he is concentrating instead on August’s Tour of Spain.
Katusha team for the Tour de France: Pavel Brutt, Denis Galimzyanov, Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatyev, Vladimir Isaychev, Vladimir Karpets, Alexander Kolobnev, Egor Silin, Yuriy Trofimov.