By Jonny Long published
Enrico Battaglin has become the final Katusha rider to sign a new deal for the 2020 season, gaining a contract with Rod Ellingworth's Bahrain McLaren outfit.
The Italian, who has won three stages of the Giro d'Italia during his career, is the final Katusha rider to find a new team for the season ahead after Israel Cycling Academy took over Katusha's WorldTour licence to become Israel Start-Up Nation.
While a number of Katusha riders were kept on by their new proprietors to fill the talent gap as the Israeli squad stepped up to the top tier of professional cycling, such as Alex Dowsett and Nils Politt, combining two rosters left a number of riders surplus to requirement.
Ilnur Zakarin was one of the first out the door after cycling's transfer window opened in August, the Russian penning a deal with CCC after five years with Katusha.
News had emerged during the Tour de France that Katusha had told their riders to look for new contracts, expecting the team to fold at the end of the season, with main sponsor Alpecin moving over to sponsor Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix outfit, apparently tripling the budget provided by previous title sponsors Corendon-Circus.
Britain's Harry Tanfield found a contract with French squad Ag2r La Mondiale, while a number of others now find themselves scattered amongst the WorldTour and ProTeam ranks.
Marcel Kittel had quit the team in May before retiring in August, with Simon Špilak also calling it a day after 15 years in the professional peloton.
The only remaining question mark hangs over Ian Boswell, the American rider has neither retired nor secured a contract for next season. On a recent episode of The Cycling Podcast, the 28-year-old said he would be transitioning away from professional road racing and instead planned to participate in gravel events.
Boswell can be seen out training on his Instagram and has said he will soon reveal more about his plans for the future.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
Training through the pain
It’s a universal truth in cycling: when the hard effort hurts too much, we back off and slow down. But can we train our ability to tolerate pain? Steve Shrubsall finds out
By Stephen Shrubsall • Published
11 alternative kits with more flair than (most of) the WorldTour would know what to do with
Gravel, crit, and amateur teams have some of the best kits (fact)
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan • Published
Katusha announce women's team following merger with Israel Cycling Academy
The heavily rumoured merger has now been confirmed by both teams
By Jonny Long • Published
Marcel Kittel quits Katusha-Alpecin
Marcel Kittel has quit Katusha-Alpecin and will take a break from racing.
By Alex Ballinger • Published