Swiss WorldTour team Katusha reveal their new race clothing as Alpecin joins them as co-title-sponsor
Katusha-Alpecin unveiled their new team clothing at the squad’s 2017 launch event in Calpe, Spain, on Saturday.
The team’s kit retains its distinctive red colour for 2017, with Alpecin’s logo emblazoned across the chest. White cuffs have the logo of the squad’s bike provider Canyon.
Katusha’s white ‘K’ logo, which made its appearance on the 2016 kit, now appears on the side of the sleeves and on the back – good for those aerial shots of the peloton.
There are a few changes to the line-up for 2017, notably with time trial world champion Tony Martin wearing the squad’s red kit – in road races at least – after signing from Etixx-QuickStep. We’ve yet to see the rainbow-striped version of the jersey that Martin will wear in individual time trials.
Russian climber Ilnur Zakarin and Norwegian 2015 Tour of Flanders and 2014 Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff will spearhead the teams race-winning aims during 2017, alongside German Martin.
The squad have ear-marked the opening stage of the 2017 Tour de France as an opportunity for Martin to take the yellow jersey on home soil in Düsseldorf. Martin will also ride a selection of the Classics, as he did in 2016, aiming at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, where he will ride with Kristoff.
José Azevedo also joins the team as general manager, as Viacheslav Ekimov leaves the post.
Azevedo is already happy with the way the team has gelled, saying: “Things have come together faster than I expected especially with all of the new people.
“We have 40 per cent new people in the team for the riders and we also have changes on the staffing side. It can take time for the new people to integrate into the system and understand how things work. But right away after our first small camp in Italy last October, I went home and felt very positive about what I had seen.
“In only four days I saw people developing a good connection.”
The closure of the Tinkoff team at the end of 2016 would have left Katusha as the sole Russian squad in the UCI’s top-flight WorldTour calendar, but the team’s decision to move their licence to Switzerland reduces the Russian team count to zero.
Katusha-Alpecin 2017 roster
Maxim Belkov, Jenthe Biermans, Sven Erik Bystrøm, José Gonçalves, Marco Haller, Reto Hollenstein, Robert Kišerlovski, Pavel Kochetkov, Alexander Kristoff, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Maurits Lammertink, Alberto Losada, Tiago Machado, Matvey Mamykin, Tony Martin, Marco Mathis, Michael Mørkøv, Baptiste Planckaert, Nils Politt, Jhonatan Restrepo, Simon Špilak, Rein Taaramäe, Angel Vicioso, Mads Würtz Schmidt, Rick Zabel, Ilnur Zakarin.