RadioShack Nissan and Katusha announce rosters for Ruta del Sol
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

RadioShack Nissan and Katusha announce rosters for Ruta del Sol

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Menchov, Freire and Schleck amongst big names to line up

Oscar FreireThe RadioShack Nissan and Katusha teams have announced its line ups for the Vuelta a Andalucia-Ruta del Sol, which gets underway tomorrow and runs until next Thursday, February 23rd. Denis Menchov will make his stage race debut for Katusha and will form a formidable pairing with 2007 race winner Oscar Freire.

Both men are new marquee signings for the Russian outfit this season. There was some confusion last year as to Freire’s future after talks broke down between him and his team of nine years, Rabobank, but he decided to continue on in the sport for one more year. A deal with Katusha was agreed.

The 36 year old showed he isn’t done racing bikes at the top level yet when he rewarded his new employer with victory on stage four of the season opening Tour Down Under this year. He will look to do the same this week and take confidence from the two victories he picked up in stage four and five of last year's Ruta del Sol.

As for Menchov, he moved to the team after the collapse of Geox-TMC late last year. The Russian is likely to see his career out with the team from his homeland. He has had a modest debut so far this season in the Mallorca Challenge, but should gain pace as the season progresses.

Unlike brother Andy, Frank Schleck is following his more traditional start to the season heading to the Spanish race in search of some early season form for RadioShack Nissan. The team has a point to prove as last year its predecessor Team RadioShack placed two men on the final podium.

Markel Irizar will start with number one on his back as he won the overall while Levi Leipheimer, who has since moved to Omega Pharma-Quick Step, finished third. The team will have Daniele Bennati for the bunch sprints.

Team Katusha: Oscar Freire, Denis Menchov, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini, Simon Spilak, Yuriy Trofimov, Eduard Vorganov.

Team RadioShack Nissan: Daniele Bennati, Linus Gerdemann, Markel Irizar, Maxime Monfort, Fränk Schleck, Jens Voigt & Haimar Zubeldia


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