Katusha announces 2010 roster, minus Swift, Markov and Serov
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Katusha announces 2010 roster, minus Swift, Markov and Serov

by VeloNation Press at 10:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

The Russian Katusha team has released a roster of 27 riders for the 2010 season. Notable absentees on the list, according to wielerflits.nl, are are Alexei Markov and Alexander Serov. Up until now there has been no news of the two Russians leaving the ProTour team.

Also missing from the list is British rider Ben Swift, which could be an indication that he will in fact be moving to the British Team Sky. Team Sky principal David Brailsford has actively been recruiting the young rider despite a year remaining on his contract with the Russian team. He went as far as to include Swift on his Santos Tour Down Under roster.

“Concerning rumours about Ben Swift moving to another team,” said a Katusha team press release in November, “Katusha declares that the English rider has signed a regular UCI contract until the end of 2010 season and that it will be respected.”

Katusha boss Andrei Tchmil has openly criticized the new British team's recruitment tactics, and several others have also expressed their disappointment in the manner with which Brailsford recruited Bradley Wiggins.

"I think it's very bad that a new team like Sky goes around thinking they can buy up riders who are under contract,” Tchmil said at the time. “It's something we never did last year out of a matter of principle. Contracts exist because they have to be respected."

Katusha recently signed Russian Alexandr Kolobnev after he managed to release himself from his contract with Saxo Bank. It is unclear, however, if the transfer was connected to the budget issues on the Saxo Bank team.

There also remains the chance that Tchmil could sit out Swift for the 2010 season. In 2009, a squabble with Gert Steegmans that included injury and contract tensions saw a hard line taken which resulted in the Belgian, even once healthy, sitting out most of the season. The official Team Sky presentation is set to take place in London tomorrow, and then we will see if the team will have to wait until 2011 to bring 22-year-old Swift on board.

Highlights of the list include classic specialists, Sergei Ivanov, Alexander Kolobnev, Filippo Pozzato and Joaquin Rodriguez, general classification hopefuls Kim Kirchen and Vladimir Karpets, as well as sprinters Robbie McEwen and Danilo Napolitano.

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