By Gregor Brown
Laszlo Bodrogi expects to be back on the bike soon following a long rehabilitation due to a crash in the final stage of the Tour of Germany in September. The Hungarian time trial specialist will join his new team at its training camp in mid-December despite not being able to ride.
"My leg is still recovering from the crash. I fractured the tibia and fibula. ... It is better to be off my bike now because it is winter, it would have been worse to be stopped later on in the year," said Bodrogi to Cyclingnews.
Four kilometres from the arrival in the 34-kilometre stage he slide across the pavement and came to a stop against the roadside advertisements. His recovery has been steady despite not being able to ride his bike. He will revisit the doctor in France, where he lives with his wife, who performed the initial operation on his leg for x-rays and advice in the coming weeks.
"I will attend the camp in December, but I don't think I will be riding my bike with the others. I will work on building my muscles; I can work on the rollers at this point."
Team Katusha signed Bodrogi, winner of the 2005 Tour of Luxembourg and the 2007 Chrono des Nations, last month. He is looking forward to meeting up with the members of the new Russian team at its first camp for the new year, this December near San Vincenzo, Italy.
"There are a lot of young Russians; they wanted to create this team to have a structure to integrate the young Russians that are coming up through the ranks. This will be the first big professional Russian team since the 1990s [Italian team Alfa Lum - ed.].
"It will be the first time to work with Andrei Tchmil. I raced alongside Dmitri Konyshev when I was in my first years and I know Serge Parsani [the team's director sportifs] from my days at Mapei. I don't know the group of riders very well; I do know [Evgeni] Petrov and [Filippo] Pozzato, I raced with them at Mapei, the others I will get to know soon."
Katusha is the continued growth of Oleg Tinkov's Tinkoff Credit Systems. Tinkov is for the most part out of the day-to-day operations of the team, and the financial backing comes from a conglomerate of sponsors – namely Gazprom, Itera and Rostechnologii.