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Katusha names leaders, identifies objectives for 2017

Katusha-Alpecin reveals goals for team leaders Alexander Kristoff, Ilnur Zakarin and new signee Tony Martin for the upcoming season.

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Katusha-Alpecin has appointed three leaders in Norwegian Alexander Kristoff, Russian Ilnur Zakarin and German Tony Martin for the 2017 season.

The team is fresh off a training camp in Spain, which included 26 riders from 14 different nations. From that camp, the team’s objectives were defined: the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for Martin following the opening stage time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and a fifth world title against the clock; general classification at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España for Zakarin; and the spring classics for Kristoff.

“We have 40 percent newcomers, but what I saw, from our first camp in Italy in October, is very positive. The atmosphere and mentality of the group are good, “said the team’s new general manager José Azevedo, who takes over from Viacheslav Ekimov.

Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez (Bahrain), Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto NL) and Italian Jacopo Guarnieri (FDJ) are the main departures from the 2016 squad.

New arrivals include: Martin, as well as Jenthe Biermans (BEL), José Gonçalves (POR), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Marco Mathis (GER), Baptiste Planckaert (BEL), Mads Würtz Schmidt (DEN) and Rick Zabel (GER).

Returning riders include: Kristoff and Zakarin, along with Maxim Belkov (RUS), Sven Erik Byström (NOR), Marco Haller (AUT), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS), Alberto Losada (ESP), Tiago Machado (POR), Matvey Mamykin (RUS), Michael Mörköv (DEN), Nils Politt (GER), Jhonatan Restrepo (COL), Simon Spilak (SLO) Rein Taaramae (EST) and Angel Vicioso (ESP).