Kolobnev leaves Saxo for Katusha, two riders replace him
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kolobnev leaves Saxo for Katusha, two riders replace him

by Ben Atkins at 2:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Olympic and World Championship medallist Alexandr Kolobnev has officially been released from the Saxo Bank team that he has ridden for since 2007, despite still having a year on his contract left to run. Unsurprisingly, it has been announced that he has joined the Katusha team.

The Russian took the Worlds silver medal in Mendrisio, Switzerland this year, as well as in Stuttgart, Germany 2007, and will be awarded the bronze medal from last year’s Beijing Olympics after the disqualification of Italian Davide Rebellin. It has been known for some time that he wanted to leave the team at the end of the season, and now he has been officially allowed.

"Alexandr Kolobnev is a great rider and we respect him personally and as an athlete,” said team owner Bjarne Riis in a press release. “We have been grateful for his contribution on and off the road and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Kolobnev himself was just as gracious on his departure: “I have been very happy to be a part of Team Saxo Bank and the time on the team has developed my talent to a higher level,” he said. “I am grateful that Bjarne gives me the opportunity to accept an offer from a team where I will have a leading role.”

On welcoming Kolobnev to the team manager Andre Tchmil said: “I think that Kolobnev will be a good rider for our Team. We already know his natural power. He’s a strong climber for the one-day classic races. He already won the silver medal at the World Championships twice. I’m sure that he will do well with Katusha Team”

After the departure of Kolobnev, Saxo Bank has added two new riders for 2010. The new signings are 22-year-old Jaroslaw Marycz from the Italian Team Fidibc.com and 26-year-old Lucas Sebastian Haedo, the brother of Juan Jose Haedo who has ridden for the team for the past three years. The younger Haedo has been released from his contract with the US domestic team Jamis/Sutter Home Men’s Cycling Team presented by Colavita, where he has been since 2008.

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