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Katusha-Alpecin to fold at end of year, reports suggest

Riders told they can start hunt for new team by management

Joe Robinson
10 Jul 2019

Katusha-Alpecin are set to close their doors at the end of 2019 after a decade in the sport, according to reports.

French newspaper L'Equipe reported that team bosses informed the riders that the team would cease to exist beyond 2019 and that they would be free to begin negotiations with other teams.

It is believed that the news was told to the team after Stage 4 of the Tour de France into Nancy on Tuesday evening.

It was also suggested that the 23-rider roster had been waiting since 1st July to hear whether the team would continue before looking at alternative options.

L'Equipe also writes that the UCI has not received a WorldTour registration from the Swiss-based, Russian-owned team, either.

Katusha has existed in professional cycling since 2009 when Russian businessman Igor Makarov created the team.

In this time, the team has taken 28 Grand Tour stages and four cycling Monuments but, in recent years, it has failed to perform. So far in 2019, the team has managed only three victories, the most notable being Ilnur Zakarin's Giro d'Italia stage win.

The chances of Katusha or co-sponsor Alpecin remaining in the sport are feasible, however, with suggestions that multiple ProContinental teams such as Israel Cycling Academy are looking for extra funding to move into the WorldTour.

It has also been rumoured that Katusha-Alpecin's bike sponsor Canyon was already looking at moving away from the team to fully concentrate its efforts behind sponsoring the second tier Corendon Circus team and its star rider Mathieu van der Poel.

Since then, it has also been suggested that shampoo manufacturer Alpecin could be set to make the same move.