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Israel Cycling Academy confirm takeover of Katusha-Alpecin

Joe Robinson
3 Oct 2019

Futures of Alex Dowsett and Harry Tanfield still uncertain as Israel gets its first WorldTour team

Israel Cycling Academy will be part of the WorldTour for 2020 having completed their takeover of Katusha-Alpecin. The Isreali-registered team purchased the existing Katusha licence, guaranteeing their spot in cycling's top flight for a further three seasons, as long as the sale is approved by the UCI.

The team will continue under the name of Israel Cycling Academy while using Katusha clothing. Canyon, however, will not be associated with the new team and has already announced the end of its backing.

Negotiations had been ongoing between Israel Cycling Academy's billionaire owner Sylvan Adams and Katusha's Russian owner Igor Makarov for several weeks. The pair made an agreement over the weekend and the sale has now taken place.

'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 are: Just. Getting. Started,' said Adams.

'I want to thank Katusha management and its owner, Igor Makarov, for choosing to do this deal with us, as I know he had several available options. Igor’s contribution to our sport has been impressive, and he will continue to support our sport.'

Israel Cycling Academy will now come across to the WorldTour with their roster of 20 riders, including new signing Dan Martin and marquee rider Ben Hermans. They will also assume the 11 existing contracts of Katusha-Alpecin.

With a limit of 30 riders, however, it is looking likely that some of these Katusha-Alpecin riders may be released from contract.

Some riders have already left, noticeably Ilnur Zakarin to CCC Team and Nathan Haas to Cofidis, but some will still be considered surplus to requirement, which Cyclist believes includes British duo Harry Tanfield and Alex Dowsett.

Tanfield told Cyclist last week that riders had already been granted permission to talk to other teams in pursuit of a contract elsewhere and it is almost guaranteed a thinning down process will take place.

Israel Cycling Academy's move into the WorldTour will satisfy Adams's ambition of an Israeli team riding in the Tour de France with the team's co-founder Ron Baron also hoping it could see the first Israeli rider enter the race.

'I am sure that this step will enhance our core vision to develop Israeli cycling on the world stage. To see an Israeli rider in the Tour De France next season will be, for me, very satisfying.'