Schlagwort-Archive: Team Katusha Alpecin

Paris-Nice. 2nd place well deserved for Nils Politt

Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Nils Politt, 25, took a second-place finish in Thursday’s individual time trial in Barbentane, France, marking a breakthrough performance in the career of the young German rider.

Photo by Gerhard Plomitzer /
Nils Politt: “This was a pretty good time trial today and I’m really happy with my performance. It’s my first time to earn a podium placing in a big, big time trial and I see that my condition is good. I train every winter on my TT bike, but this time I went probably only five times, so maybe that’s the key.”
The course featured a climb halfway through before a slightly rolling final into the finish line. Asked which sections of the route caused the most concern, Politt said, “The last 5km were very hard. There was a tailwind and it was a little bit up and down, plus I was already going all in, so I was really suffering.”
Team director Dirk Demol assessed the day’s performance from Politt: “I’m very satisfied with this effort from Nils. Second place in a time trial at this level of racing proves again that he’s made a step up from last year. He was top 10 in the time trial in Algarve and since then he has put his focus on the TT for today. His main focus is still on the classics, of course, but the result today proves he’s moving in the right direction with his condition and I look forward to the next weeks with him.” Politt took seventh place last year in Paris-Roubaix.
Stage 5 of the 77th Paris-Nice was 25.5k in Barbentane and was won by Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) with a top time of 30:26 (50.274km/h). Politt’s time was seven-seconds off the pace and race leader Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky rounded out the daily podium another four seconds behind.
Kwiatkowski leads by 15 seconds to teammate Egan Bernal with three stages still to race. Friday’s stage 6 returns to the road at 176.5k from Peynier to Brignoles.
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96

Marcel Kittel takes first victory of the season in Palma

With two training camps behind him on Mallorca, Marcel Kittel raced to victory in the Trofeo Palma on Sunday, securing his first win of the season and giving the German sprinter a much-needed boost of confidence.

Foto Gerhard Plomitzer – @plomiphotos
“I am very, very happy. This is more than just winning a stage here, it is also a little comeback after last year“, said Marcel Kittel. „In the last few days I could feel that my legs were good and I’m very happy that I could give this victory to my teammates as well as the confidence it gives to me at the start of the season. It’s very important. The team protected me so well. They all stayed with me during the difficult climb and I’m very happy.”
The series of four one-day races came to an end today with the Trofeo Palma, 159.6k from Playa de Palma to Palma. A challenging climb with 40k to go saw teamwork play into the tactics and set up Kittel for success. Erik Zabel, team performance manager, explained the strategy behinds today’s victory:
“During the training camp we did this climb and then Marcel came alone four days ago to do it again. I think it was important that he had the confidence that he could do it. Before dinner last night we had a short meeting and asked him how he felt. He was very optimistic, and this morning too. So we asked the climbers to stay close to him on the climb to protect him and bring him over the climb. The team worked so well together, and in the end, he did a great sprint.”
Joining Kittel on the podium for second and third places were Timothy Dupont of Wanty-Groupe Gobert 85 and Hugo Hofstetter of Cofidis, all on the same time of 3:45:23 (42.49 km/h).
Sports director Claudio Cozzi brimmed with pride from the day’s efforts: “We saw during training camp that Kittel was in good condition and that today’s shorter stage would be a good opportunity for him. It wasn’t simple because of the climb with 40k to go, so we dedicated the full team to him. Even the climbers stayed with him to help pass the climb and we came down in good position.”

Erik Zabel concluded: “I’ve been working closely with Marcel for 3 months now and I’ve liked everything I’ve seen so far. Since the first of December we have been training and focused on this new season, not looking back, and today was a nice moment to see the results of everyone’s efforts.”
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96
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Marco Haller wins the opener of the Australian Bay Crits

Marco Haller wins the opener of the Australian Bay Crits

Marco Haller started the season successfully. The 27-year-old Austrian rider won the first race of the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits on New Year’s Day in Geelong, Australia. Haller was the fastest rider after a sprint from a five-man squad. The German Raphael Freienstein was second, ahead of Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ).

„Everybody was pretty excited for the Bay Crits. Winning a race on January 1st is just a perfect start for the team and of course for myself,“ said Marco Haller.

Haller was joined by his teammates Alex Dowsett, Nathan Haas and two „national level“ riders. Tom Chapman from South Australia and Dylan McKenna of Victoria were the lucky winners of a competition launched by KATUSHA Sports in mid-December. The five-man special team raced in customized KATUSHA Sports kits in collaboration with Pushys.

„Nathan (Haas) already warned me that the Australian riders are pretty good in shape that time of the year where the Nationals and the Tour Down Under is just around the corner. It was a very tough race and it was unexpected that our five-man group made it to the finish. But the break was strong (Miles Scotson was sitting in there) and immediately we got some time to the bunch. In the end it was man against man and I’m happy I did it,“ added Haller.
For Marco, the victory is a boost after losing a large part of the season in 2018. In April he broke his kneecap in training in a collision with a car and was out for six month of racing.
The Bay Crits continues tomorrow in Geelong with another criterium on a 650m lap course.

KATUSHA ALPECIN choses BMW as official car partner

Swiss WorldTour team KATUSHA ALPECIN will cooperate for the next three years with BMW. The official handing-over of the keys happened last Friday evening at the 2019 team presentation of KATUSHA ALPECIN in Koblenz, Germany. Leasing company Alphabet is providing the fleet of 14 BMWs, including 12 of the 518d Touring and 2 BMW X3 models.
General Manager José Azevedo: “We are happy in this partnership with BMW. It is nice to work with this prestigious and innovative brand, but there is more to this partnership. This car offers us safety and comfort and that is, of course, important in the often very hectic circumstances of a cycling race. Safety is our absolute number one priority, but comfort is a close second. Most notably our mechanics will appreciate the roomy space. Sometimes we sit more than seven to eight hours in the car. After the races we can take our riders back to the hotel in real comfort, as post-race recovery begins the minute the race is over.”
Eddy Haesendonck, President and CEO of BMW Group Belux, is also enthusiastic about the partnership. “The dynamics of KATUSHA ALPECIN cycling team match perfectly with the dynamic performances of our BMWs. Moreover, the BMW Touring and BMW X3 offer the necessary luxury and comfort that riders and support staff need and deserve.”
With their 4 brands – BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad – BMW Group is the number one producer of premium cars and motorbikes. In 2017, BMW Group sold 2,463,500 autos and 164,000 bikes worldwide.
During the cycling season, KATUSHA ALPECIN and BMW Group Belux will partner on events together, both in and out of races and look forward to the winning combination of solid racing results and a successful partnership in the years to come.
Image (from the left): Tom Van Assche (Corporate Sales Manager BMW Group Belux), Erwin Neuville (Business Manager Corporate Sales BMW Group Belux), José Azevedo (General Manager TKA), Ilnur Zakarin and Marcel Kittel
All used images need to be signed always with the mandatory photo credits: ©TKA/Kathrin Schafbauer
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96

Team Katusha Alpecin Teampresentation Koblenz

Erik Zabel arrives, Marcel Kittel is hungry for results
Team KATUSHA ALPECIN 2019 presented in Koblenz

Six new riders, Erik Zabel on board as performance manager and highly experienced Dirk Demol coming in as a new team director, combined with a deeply motivated Marcel Kittel, marked the team presentation of KATUSHA ALPECIN in Germany on Friday evening.

The 2019 team presentation for KATUSHA ALPECIN took place at the Canyon headquarters in Koblenz, marking the 11th season for the WorldTour squad. With sponsors, journalists, friends and family on hand to kick off the new cycling season, twenty-four riders from 14 countries, including six new riders, were introduced in a multi-media presentation that showed highlights of the past season and shared changes, goals and ambitions for the upcoming year.
Two notable changes include the establishment of the performance department and the hiring of a new head sports director. Team general manager José Azevedo sees both as positive steps in the overall structure of the team.

Azevedo:“Erik Zabel has joined us for 2019. We have created a new department within the team, the performance department and Erik will be the manager of this department. He will be responsible for all performance of riders, as well as materials and will work along with our sponsors to be sure we have the best. He was one of the best riders of his generation, so he also has experience and advice to share with our sprinters.”Working along with the coaches and sports directors, Zabel will analyze training and racing data to stay on top of performance goals.
An enthusiastic Erik Zabel added, “I still believe there is so much potential within this team. Really, there are so many talented riders and I’ve already seen in them the desire to do better and have a winning season. Our main goal in the performance department is to support the riders and help them do better. They understand that they must work harder to achieve the results they know are within reach. We have training camp in Mallorca starting Saturday and the riders will learn their race programs and what their training requirements will be to achieve their goals. I guess you could say I will be monitoring everything in a way it was not handled before, perhaps more strict than in the past, but I feel this is what we need to see results from KATUSHA ALPECIN. Each director will have four or five riders in his ‘group’ and will be in constant communication with the rider so we all stay on the same page. Of course, we also need some good luck next year, but I hope that will not be a main factor as we try for results.”

In the sports director department, GM Azevedo has hired long-time friend and former teammate Dirk Demol to head up the director’s group. Azevedo: “Next year Dirk will be our head sports director. He has so much experience in cycling. He has experience in winning every kind of race, plus he is a person who creates a good team spirit around him and knows how to motivate the riders to make them believe they can achieve results. He will pass on his knowledge to the riders, along with the rest of our very experienced group of directors.”
Dirk Demol, winner of Paris-Roubaix in 1988, looks forward to his work with a new team: “I start my 20th season in the car next year so I can safely say I have a lot of experience. I have a very good history with José Azevedo and I was happy to come to his team to see if I can help. When I look at this group here, there is talent for sure and I’m going to do my best to help them perform again. When I look around, I see so many quality riders, and cycling is my life, so I know what I am seeing. I’m motivated and quite confident that we can see strong results from this group.”
On hand at the team presentation was team founder Mr. Igor Makarov, noting that on December 23 it will be 10-years since the first Team Katusha was launched. Mr. Makarov continues his support of the cycling team, along with other Katusha projects such as Katusha Sports Katusha Travel and Café.

Mr. Makarov: “The political situation around the world is quite different than what it was ten years ago, when we were a Russian team, but now we have turned into a very international team. What is most important always are the people and the relationships you build with people. With that being said, we have a really good team. I am very grateful to Eduard and Roman for joining me in this team as sponsors. I am very proud of this international team.”
Also present was Mr. Eduard Dörrenberg, representing Alpecin in their third year of sponsorship and Roman Arnold of Canyon, who start their eighth season of bike sponsorship for the team and hosted Friday’s event.
Team riders Marcel Kittel and Ilnur Zakarin discussed their hopes for a strong season and will continue in their leadership roles for 2019. Zakarin’s season highlight was completing the Tour de France with a solid ninth place position on the general classification. The promising Russian cycling star hopes for even better results next year.
Zakarin:“This year I will prepare mainly for the Giro, along with some earlier races, such as Abu Dhabi and I will also do multiple stage races. I plan, also, to do two training camps at altitude.”
In addition, German sprinter Marcel Kittel has fought through a tough season to emerge on the other side with an even stronger sense of dedication and focus. I expect this to be a good season and I am looking forward to racing again.
Marcel Kittel: “When things go wrong, it forces you to look at how you do things and where you focus your energy. I am at a point where I am focusing 100% on my training and my races – I realize I need to focus on the basics. I started training early now for next season, I am feeling fresh and motivated to win again.”
With results in 2018 that were not up to the expectations and potential of the team, a re-grouping and re-dedication to the effort is producing much needed enthusiasm for the new season.
Azevedo:“Both Dirk and Erik are good with their communication skills and we know we can do better. Honestly, 2018 was not a good year for us, so we have analyzed our season and made changes that we think will make a difference. Our goal is always to improve the team and learn from past mistakes. I see a stronger team that we’ve been in prior years.”On Saturday the team fly to Mallorca, Spain to begin the first training camp of the season.

KATUSHA ALPECIN for 2019: Enrico Battaglin (ITA), Jenthe Biermans (BEL), Ian Boswell (USA), Steff Cras (BEL), Jens Debusschere (BEL), Alex Dowsett (GB), Matteo Fabbro (ITA), José Gonçalves (POR), Ruben Guerreiro (POR), Nathan Haas (AUS), Marco Haller (AUT), Reto Hollenstein (SUI), Marcel Kittel (GER), Pavel Kochetkov (RUS), Viacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS), Daniel Navarro (SPA), Nils Politt (GER), Simon Špilak

Images credits: ©TKA/Kathrin Schafbauer
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96
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Marco Mathis wechselt von Katusha-Alpecin zu Cofidis!

Marco Mathis verlässt das Worldtour Team Katusha Alpecin und fährt 2019 für das französiche Cofidis Team. Das Talent soll dort seine Zeitfahrfähigkeiten einbringen und die Internationalität der Mannschaft verstärken.
„Ich habe mich dazu entschieden, die Mannschaft zu wechseln, da ich mir sicher war, dass ich einen neuen Weg einschlagen musste“, so Mathis, der beim Zweitdivisionär einen Zweijahresvertrag unterschrieb.

KATUSHA ALPECIN adds Ruben Guerreiro to 2019 roster

A one-year contract has been signed with Portuguese rider Ruben Guerreiro, as KATUSHA ALPECIN continue to build the roster for 2019.
Ruben Guerreiro: “KATUSHA ALPECIN has always been one of my favorite teams. Former KATUSHA rider Purito Rodríguez always has been one of my idols. There is also a substantial Portuguese connection in the team which makes it easier for me of course, though I am used to speaking English after having spent four years in American teams. I really look forward to the next step in my career and I feel that KATUSHA ALPECIN is the right choice.”
Guerreiro, 24, comes to the team from Trek-Segafredo and prior to that, the team of Axel Merckx, who is known to nurture young talent. Ruben, 5th in the WorldTour Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France last Sunday, has chalked up many wins in his career, including the Portuguese National Road championships in 2017. Further he earned a top ten place in the Tour Down Under and 4th in the Herald Sun Tour, both in 2018.
General Manager José Azevedo, also Portuguese, is enthusiastic about the signing of Guerreiro: “I’ve followed Ruben’s career for a long time, starting four years ago when he signed with the team of Axel Merckx. He did good years with Axel, especially in the Tour of California. I like his style of racing. He’s aggressive and always trying to go in the breakaways. In the hard moments he is not someone who tries to hide or to sit in the wheels; he always takes his chance. He’s had some good results, like finishing top ten in the WorldTour Tour Down Under (9th, 2018).”
Guerreiro continued: “Ardennes classics, one-day races and also stage races of one week are my ‘thing’. Due to some health problems I could not always show what I am capable of, but I will next year. I want to be a good teammate as well as to win. KATUSHA ALPECIN offers me this opportunity.”

Photo © Getty Images
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96

Enrico Battaglin joins KATUSHA ALPECIN

Italian rider Enrico Battaglin and KATUSHA ALPECIN have reached an agreement for the next two years. Battaglin, 28, comes to the team with three stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, the most recent in 2018 (also 2013 and 2014).
Enrico Battaglin: „For sure I am happy and enthusiastic. This is a great opportunity for me. I have no bad words for my former team; on the contrary, this is just a step upwards in my career. I want to do more than I have done in the past. I will get more chances in the future and I will do everything not to disappoint Team KATUSHA ALPECIN. The team really wanted me and this, of course, gives me wings. I hope to show nice things in the Ardennes classics and of course I want to win in stage races. I cannot wait to show what I am able to. I also love the international character of KATUSHA ALPECIN. In that sense I am an atypical Italian.“
Already before turning professional in 2012, Battaglin – as a trainee – quickly won the Coppa Sabatini, and has continued winning races in most seasons. General Manager José Azevedo sees even more potential for Enrico.
„He is a rider who I think can win races. He showed us this year in the Giro when he won a stage that he can take on a hard stage in the hills. He’s a good climber and in some stages he can be a good helper for our leaders, especially in the medium mountains. He can work in the medium mountains and he can win in the same so this shows he’s a winner to us. There are many races on the calendar that can be good for him, both stage races and the classics – something like Amstel Gold Race. When you see the type of rider he is, I think he can do well.“

Nice birthday present for Jens Debusschere

The 28th of August has always been an important day for Jens Debusschere. In 2019, on his 29th birthday, this date will once again play an important role as his transfer to KATUSHA ALPECIN is made official.
Jens Debusschere: “I am not just happy; I am extremely happy. I come to a team that has always been interested in the spring classics and putting someone in the finales. I also arrive in a team where I find some other Belgian riders and staff, plus this team uses super good bikes. I look forward to it. After eight years in the same team, it was time to make a new move in my career. I will focus on the classics, but I will still remain a sprinter as well. I have proved I can be a good lead-out man and in the smaller races I can go myself for the win. It all looks nice.”
General Manager José Azevedo added: “The reason we have signed Jens is because he’s a rider who can get a good result in the one-day Belgian classics. He’s a rider who can finish top ten in the classics. Also, while we have a good group of riders for these races, we want to make this group stronger, especially a guy with more experience, like he has. He’s shown in the past years that he can be in the front in the classics. Plus, he’s a fast rider; he can also be one of the sprinters on our team and we can look to him to be in the lead-out for Marcel Kittel as he did for Greipel in the past.”
Debusschere turned professional in 2011 and has steadily built on his palmares throughout his career. Notable wins include his 2014 Belgian national championship victory, a stage win in the 2015 Tirreno-Adriatico, a first overall in the 2013 Tour de l’Eurométropole, first in Dwars door Vlaanderen in 2016, GP Wallonie 2015 as well as a stage 5 victory in this year’s Tour de Wallonie.
Azevedo concluded: “He understood from the beginning what we were looking for and was eager to come to the team. I think we’re what he is looking for too – a team who will give him opportunities and some freedom in the classics, as well as a team who will give him a race program that can be for his sprints. We feel we are a good match for him.”
Photo © Getty Images
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96
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Dani Navarro to ride for KATUSHA ALPECIN in 2019

Dani Navarro returns to the WorldTour in a two-year agreement with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN after riding for pro-continental Cofidis for six years. Navarro, 35, specializes as a general classification rider and is known for his strong climbing abilities.

„It was time for me to move to another team, just to give myself a new impulse. The fact that KATUSHA ALPECIN was interested in me and that I know many people in that team makes me look forward to this transfer. I am not a winner, but I have proved my value in all my previous teams. I will work with pleasure for Ilnur Zakarin, knowing that I will get my chance, too, from time to time. This season I proved I am not too old for this. I have already ridden many Grand Tours in my career, but not many times more than one per season. That’s why I am sure I still have some years left to ride at the highest level of cycling. In my head I still have a lot of freshness. Now already I look forward to 2019,” said Dani Navarro.
Asturian rider Dani Navarro rode much of his career in the service of Alberto Contador before heading up his own team in 2013. Top career results include a ninth place in the Tour de France (2013), tenth overall in the 2014 Vuelta a España after winning Stage 13 and participating in 17 Grand Tours.
General Manager José Azevedo looks forward to working with Dani Navarro: “We know he will help make the group around Ilnur Zakarin stronger. He’s a rider with a lot of experience and he’s already raced much of his career riding support for big riders, like Alberto Contador. His level is still good – this year he finished top 10 in the Dauphiné and in La Route d’Occitanie he was second. He has shown us he’s a good climber where we expect him to be with Ilnur. But his work will not be 100% for Ilnur. In certain races he will have chances for himself, especially in the mountains. I’ve known Dani for more than 10 years and he was one of the first persons who came to mind when thinking of possibilities to work with Ilnur.”

Photo © Getty Images
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96
Falk Nier
+32 492 22 78 98

Nils Politt takes first professional victory

Every day in the 33rd Deutschland Tour, Team KATUSHA ALPECIN rider Nils Politt showed more strength and determination in earning the win, finally breaking through for his first professional victory in stage 4 on Sunday in Stuttgart. Politt, 24, has been professional since 2013 and welcomes his first victory.
“It’s unbelievable. I really can’t believe it. I think I will have to watch the race again tomorrow and then maybe I can believe it. I was so close to the win in the last two days when I guess I made some small mistakes. But today I waited a little bit longer to go at 200 meters to the finish line. I am really, really happy,” said Nils Politt. His sprint win with a time of 4:49:20 (43.03 km/h) came on the 207.5km stage which began in Lorsch.
Politt’s efforts also earned him second place on the final podium for the general classification, six-seconds behind winner Mohorič Matej (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team), who took second on today’s stage.
Politt is a strong time trialist but has evolved into an all-around rider in the past year, most notably with his fine seventh place finish in this year’s Paris-Roubaix. He also was one of four team riders to finish in the 2018 Tour de France, showing his versatility for both one-day races and the grand tours.
After a 10-year absence the Tour of Germany returned to the race calendar this year. Politt noted earlier in the week he remembers coming to the race as a kid and was honored to be able to finally participate in the race on his home soil.
“It’s so nice to have the Tour of Germany back. I am proud to be on the podium here,“ said Politt.
Photos © Getty Images
Philippe Maertens
+32 492 22 78 96