The Russians have thrown plenty of money into this project and are going to want results for their roubles. Manager Andrei Tchmil has gone for the tried-and-tested route of buying in experienced sprinters to rack up some wins, and Robbie McEwan and Gert Steegmans will be expected to deliver.
Apart from that, Filippo Pozzato is no longer the sought-after big name he was prior to 2008, but can still turn on the style on his day. Vladimir Karpets, the mullet-headed Russian, may find himself more at home in the Katusha set-up than the predominantly Spanish Caisse D?Epargne outfit of last year.
Juan Horrach Ripoli