Katusha makes history with the first ever 100% Russian Tour team
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Katusha makes history with the first ever 100% Russian Tour team

by Ben Atkins at 9:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Team to go on the attack but Filippo Pozzato left at home again

pavel bruttKatusha has named an historic nine-man team for the Tour de France, which starts on the Passage du Gois on Saturday. For the first time in the 108 years of the Tour’s existence there will be a team made up entirely of Russian riders on the start line.

Katusha is, after all, subtitled the ‘Russian global cycling project’ and so an entirely Russian team can be seen as a real achievement in that sense.

"Being at Tour de France is always something to be proud of,” said Katusha’s team manager Andre Tchmil. “But being there with an 100% Russian team represents, in the sporting point of view, an historical event. We know that, for this reason too, we will be under the spotlight, and so we’ll try our best to be a credit to the country we represent.

“In the worldwide era globalization, managing to introduce, in the most important competition in world cycling, a team that represents, in all of its riders and staff, a single nation is, let’s say, a little masterpiece of technical planning we’re very proud of. A project that, today, reached another prestigious goal, also thanks to the great help and proximity of the Itera President, Igor Makarov, who followed, its full development step by step.”

While it does not possess a real podium contender – although Vladimir Karpets will likely threaten the top ten – the Russian team possesses some of the most attacking riders in the sport, like newly crowned Russian road champion Pavel Brutt and time trial champion Mikhail Ignatiev.

As usual the team is likely to be one of the most attacking in the race.

“Aside from the usual celebrations, we’re not here to simply make up the numbers,” added Tchmil. “The main goal, as always, is to be a protagonist. Our performance, when we cross the finishing line on the Champs Elysées, won’t be judged by wins, but instead by the courage and the commitment we put into every single stage.”

Notable, non-Russian, names missing from the list include that of Joaquim Rodriguez, who was eighth in last year’s Tour, but is now resting after a tough Giro d’Italia. Filipppo Pozzato’s miserable year continues as he sits out his second Grand Tour, although he will not be as disappointed as when he missed the Giro.

Despite mixing it with the best all through the spring, 24-year-old Russian sprinter Denis Galimzyanov is also being left at home.

Katusha team for the Tour de France:
Pavel Brutt, Denis Galimzyanov, Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatyev, Vladimir Isaychev, Vladimir Karpets, Alexander Kolobnev, Egor Silin and Yuriy Trofimov.


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