Posts filed under ‘Team’
Spaniard Joaquím Rodríguez will have the opportunity to race the Tour de France for the first time in his career next season. He met with his new team, Katusha, last week to discuss his 2010 schedule.
“It will be like a dream to be at the start,” said Rodríguez in a press release. “I intend to approach it as I did the 2008 Giro: calmly and looking for a stage win.”
Rodríguez finished 17th overall at the 2008 Giro d’Italia and placed third on two stages.
Last month, Tour organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) presented the 2010 Tour de France route. It starts in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on July 3 and will end in Paris on July 25. Its first mountains come in the Alps, at Morzine and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Four Pyrenean mountain stages will feature in the race’s final week, with a stage to the Col du Tourmalet only four days before the finish in Paris.
Rodríguez also planned his first half of the season leading up to the Tour de France. He will start at the Volta a Mallorca in February and then race the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico. At the Tirreno-Adriatico, he will target the stage he has won the last two years in a row, to Montelupone.
He will then race Spain’s Volta a Catalunya and País Vasco prior the Ardennes Classics in April.
“Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be the season’s highlights for me,” Rodríguez continued.
He finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year and has helped his former-Caisse d’Epargne teammate Alejandro Valverde win the event twice. Last season, he finished eighth in all three Ardennes Classics.
After the Classics, he will race the Tour de Luxembourg and Tour de Suisse. He plans to lead Katusha on the mountain stages at the Tour de Suisse, his last preparation race prior to the Tour de France.
Rodríguez ended four years with Caisse d’Epargne at the Japan Cup last month. He signed a contract earlier this year to join Russian team Katusha for 2010.
Gert Steegmans has returned to racing for the first time since June, finishing eighth in a criterium in Wolvertem, Belgium, this weekend. Steegmans wore the kit of his private sponsor BBB, a bike parts company, and has been linked to Mark Cavendish’s Columbia team for next year.
Steegmans announced last week that he and Team Katusha had agreed to cancel his contract for the remainder of the season. However the team had denied that and claimed that the contract was still valid, after placing the rider on inactive status for refusing to sign its anti-doping charter.
Steegmans‘ manager Paul De Geyter is due to return from holiday today, “and I suspect that he will immediately get into action. I don’t want to find just find any new team . I don’t need to race any more this season.” The most important aspect, Steegmans said, was to find a team , “where I feel at home.”
The two teams rumoured to be interested in his signature are Bbox Bouygues Telecom and Columbia-HTC. Alan Peiper, Columbia Directeur Sportif, told La Derniere Heure, “We don’t see him as part of the Cavendish sprint train, but rather as a candidate for the Spring Classics.”
The 28-year-old didn’t comment on either team, saying, “I do not respond to the names I’ve seen appearing in the press. But occasionally I have a good laugh over one or the other.”
For now, Steemgans just seemed happy to be racing again: “It was a pleasure to wear a race number again,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen.
Gert Steegmans is being supported financially by Dutch cycling component manufacturer BBB while he looks for a new team, following a possible contract annulment with Team Katusha on Wednesday. The Belgian has also claimed that the Russian ProTour team put too much pressure on him to return to racing after a back injury in May.
“We are glad to help Gert in his distress,” according to Davy Daniëls of BBB. It plans to sponsor him as an independent in upcoming criterium races. The company has previously provided Steegmans with equipment sponsorship.
Katusha denies the Steegmans‘ contract has been annulled. Press spokesman Andrea Agostini told us that team manager Andrei Tchmil is waiting to talk with his cyclist.
Steegmans refused to sign the team’s anti-doping charter, and has not ridden competitively since the Dauphiné Libéré in June. “I consider this a completely lost year,” he told Het Nieuwsblad.
Although he had two wins earlier in the season, he says that he did not bring in the expected results because of “one big problem: my back. Only when that problem was out of the way, did things get better.” But, he said, Tchmil pushed him too hard in May. “You cannot expect that if the doctor says the problem is solved that I am immediately in form the next day,” Steegmans said.
Although he was placed on inactive status by Katusha in June, he has continued to ride. “I am still cycling but training is something else. There is always the uncertainty, “ he said. Steegmans added that despite some concern he remains highly motivated.
Steegmans is rumoured to be close to signing with the French team Bbox Bouygues Telecom, but he would not confirm that. “I won’t say much about my future. We’ll see. I hope that my concerns will soon be over.”
Italian sprinter has extended his contract with Team Katusha through 2011, the team announced Monday. Team director Andrei Tchmil was satisfied with the Sicilian’s performance this season. Napolitano won four races this year – one stage each in the Ruta del Sol, Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, Settimana Coppi e Bartali and Tour of Luxembourg. He has also been the primary lead-out man for Robbie McEwen. “He showed his quality and he was able to take the responsibility when it was needed,” said Tchmil. “We also knew his good character and we appreciated it.” “I’m happy to renewal my contract with Team Katusha,” said Napolitano. “I found a good team and thanks to it I was be able to get good results. I hope to continue to improve so I can thank them for the confidence they’ve shown.”
Katusha released Belgian Kenny Dehaes from his contract effective July 1. He revealed that he has entered negotiations with another un-named ProTour team.
“Katusha is a closed chapter. I will go with another team to work,” Dehaes told Belga. “A signature is not yet on the contract for my new team.”
Dehaes, who is currently racing at the Ster Elektrotoer Tour, is uncertain what his race programme will be beyond July 1. He will race for Katusha at Halle-Ingooigem and the Belgian national championships before leaving the team.
“How my programme will look, to me is a huge question mark. Maybe [I will race the] Vuelta? We’ll see,” said
, 24. “I am now satisfied that I can close the chapter with Katusha. We are now entering a new era for me.”
Dehaes’ release from Katusha follows a report earlier this month that he was one of a number of riders who refused to sign a new anti-doping policy the team introduced to all of the riders’ contracts. The new contract requires a rider found guilty of a doping offence to pay a fine of five times their annual salary.
Already this season, two Katusha riders, Christian Pfannberger and Antonio Colom, have tested positive for blood booster EPO. The team suspended Pfannberger in May and Colom in June.
Milram, Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Saxo Bank, Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel, Garmin, Columbia, AG2R-La Mondiale, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis, Française des Jeux, Lampre-NGC, Liquigas, Astana, Rabobank and Katusha make up the ProTour teams list.
Team Katusha 131 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) 132 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) 133 Pavel Brutt (Rus) 134 Nikita Eskov (Rus) 135 Serguei Klimov (Rus) 136 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) 137 Christian Pfannberger (Aut) 138 Ben Swift (GBr) 139 *Alexander Serov (Rus) 140 *Maxime Vantomme (Bel)
As many already know, the new Katusha Cycling Team is a successor to the existing Tinkoff Credit Systems squad. Tinkoff currently operates with a UCI Professional Continental team license. The original Tinkoff team was established in 2006, as the Tinkoff Restaurants team and has operated as Tinkoff Credit Systems since 2007.
Many people on Internet call it Katyusha. It is wrong. The correct name is TEAM KATUSHA.
“Why?” “What about Katyusha?” – Read the article to learn why.