Katusha have confirmed their merger with Israel Cycling Academy for 2020 and announced they will also be partnering with a professional women's team next season.
After 10 years of Katusha operating the WorldTour team, Israel Cycling Academy will step up from the Pro-Continental ranks to take over the outfit, with a number of Katusha riders and staff remaining on the books.
The agreement is a three-year deal, with Katusha remaining a partner and continuing to provide clothing for the team. Moreover, the Swiss-registered team say they will shortly announce a new partnership with a professional women's team. Details remain slim, so we will have to wait to see exactly what this partnership will involve.
In a statement, Katusha said: "These 2020 partnerships afford Katusha Sports an opportunity to continue developing its range, using the pro teams as a focus for research and development. With the pro team as a research “lab” the goal of Katusha Sports will be to be able to offer the best in cutting edge technology, function and style for both the men’s and women's market."
Katusha have faced an uncertain future for some time, with headline sponsor Alpecin and bike provider Canyon believed to be moving their money elsewhere.
Israel Cycling Academy officially announced the heavily rumoured merger yesterday, with ICA co-owner, Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams, saying: "I have stated for some time that ICA would be in the WorldTour sooner or later. I am excited that it is happening right away for next year’s season.
"We have several new riders, including some from the current Katusha team that will join, and I promise we will make some noise in lots of big races next year. We’re just getting started."
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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.
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