Tour de France - Katusha name all-Russian team
Katusha have named a 100 per cent Russian line-up for the upcoming Tour de France, which starts on Saturday.
The move underlines the Russian team's faith in home riders, with top 10 general classification contender Vladimir Karpets headlining the roster.
"Being at Tour de France is always something to be proud of,” said Katusha’s team manager Andre Tchmil.
“But being there with a 100 per cent 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 globalisation, 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.”
But there is no place for Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez, who was eighth in last year’s Tour, or Filipppo Pozzato of Italy.
Squad: Pavel Brutt, Denis Galimzyanov, Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Ignatyev, Vladimir Isaychev, Vladimir Karpets, Alexander Kolobnev, Egor Silin and Yuriy Trofimov