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.