Tour de France - Katusha pack team with climbers to aide Rodriguez

Katusha believe they have named a Tour de France team that can help Joaquim Rodriguez claim overall victory.

Eurosport
Tour de France - Katusha pack team with climbers to aide Rodriguez
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katusha, joaquim rodriguez

Rodriguez finished seventh in his only previous Tour de France tilt in 2010 but showed his Grand Tour pedigree last season with a second in the Giro and third place finish in the Vuelta.

Katusha have packed their team with climbers which they believe can help Rodriguez do damage during a mountainous course.

Rodriguez will need to gain time on the climbs as he is a significantly weaker time-trial performer than race favourites Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.

"I think we will have the best and strongest roster we could choose," said chief directeur sportif Valerio Piva.

"We will have Joaquim Rodriguez as a leader, and our main goal is to fight for general classification with him.

"For this aim, we have strong climbers such as Losada, Trofimov and, of course, Moreno, that will be our second in command. Moreover, we have also riders for protecting our leader in the first part of the competition, like Brutt, Smukulis, Kuchynski and Vorganov: I expect their work to be crucial, especially in the team time trial and in the breakaways."

Sprinter Alexandre Kristoff has also been named in the team but may struggle due to a lack of a support cast.

Katusha team for Tour de France:

Pavel Brutt (RUS), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Aliaksandr Kuchynski (BLR), Alberto Losada(ESP), Daniel Moreno (ESP), Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP), Gatis Smukulis (LAT), Yuriy Trofimov (RUS), Eduard Vorganov (RUS).

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