Road

Katusha goes worldwide

Katusha riders will be scattered across three continents as the Russian squad opens the 2010 season.

Katusha riders will be scattered across three continents as the Russian squad opens the 2010 season.

The team will split its squad between the Tour Down Under in Australia and the Tour de San Luís in Argentina. The remaining riders will converge in Spain for a training camp.

McEwen is back and ready to put '09 behind him.
McEwen is back and ready to put '09 behind him.

The Russian-backed ProTour team did well in its inaugural season, winning 24 races despite injuries to the usually prolific Robbie McEwen and two doping cases that threatened the credibility of the team.

The season highlights were the Italian national title by Filippo Pozzato and the Amstel Gold Race victory by Serguei Ivanov. The veteran Russian later won a stage at the Tour de France.

Katusha saw quite a turnover ahead of the 2010 campaign, though the core remains the same, with Filippo Pozzato and a once-again healthy McEwen complementing the Russian duo of Vladimir Karpets and Serguei Ivanov.

The team sees strong reinforcement with the arrival of Joaquim Rodríguez (ex-Caisse d’Epargne) and Alexander Kolobnov (ex-Saxo Bank), two attacking riders who are capable of winning stages and one-day races. Kim Kirchen (ex-Columbia-HTC) will bolster the team’s Ardennes classics squad and give the team an extra option at the Tour de France for a run at the top-10.

Gert Steegmans (RadioShack) and promising British rider Ben Swift (Sky) will be missed in the sprints while Toni Colom and Christian Pfannberger both tested positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs to blight the team’s inaugural season.

In all, nine riders join Katusha for 2010 following the departure of eight riders.

Tour de San Luis – January 10-26
Riders
Filippo Pozzato
Alexander Kolobnev
Marco Bandiera
Luca Mazzanti
Danilo Napolitano
Maxime Vantomme

Sport director: Serge Parsani

Tour Down Under – January 17-24
Riders
Robbie McEwen
Alexander Pliuschin
Eduard Vorganov
Denis Galimzyanov
Juan Horrach
Sergey Klimov
Stijn Vandenbergh

Sport director: Dmitry Konychev

Training camp in Calpe, Spain – January 9-21
Riders
Botcharov
Brutt
Eskov
Ignatyev
Ivanov
Karpets
Kirchen
Kritskiy
Ovechkin
Petrov
Rodriguez
Silin
Trusov

Sport directors: Cozzi, Leysen, Mikhailov