Katusha-Alpecin has announced the contract extensions of Reto Hollenstein and Jhonatan Restrepo as the team continued to build its squad into 2018 and beyond. The announcement follows the renewals with Ilnur Zakarin, and Portuguese duo José Gonçalves and Tiago Machado.
Hollenstein, 31, completed the Tour de France on Sunday in his first season with Katusha-Alpecin and extended for another year. Hollenstein has now ridden the past four editions of the French Grand Tour. Colombian Restrepo is in his second year with the team and also signed a one-year extension with the squad. The 22-year-old broke his collarbone at the Tour of Austria.
"Reto was a real stroke of luck for the team. Because of his strength, he has already taken on very important support roles for the team. Whether it is the spring classics or stage races, you can absolutely count on Reto," said general manager José Azevedo said.
Hollenstein spent four years with the IAM Cycling squad prior to joining Katusha-Alpecin.
Azevedo added that after Restrepo's best young rider win at the Tour Down Under, fourth place at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and second place in Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia, it was an easy decision to re-sign. However, Azevedo explained he expects bigger and bigger things from Restrepo.
"In the first months of the season, Jhonatan showed us his huge talent. But now he must work more on his consistency throughout the year," Azevedo said. "If he does, he will continue to give us great satisfaction in the future."
While Azevedo has secured the signatures of several key riders, including Zakarin, for 2018 and beyond, he is still waiting to learn if Alexander Kristoff will re-sign and remain with the team.
"I cannot tell you how it is going to finish because we don't know," he said. "We are in negotiations with Alex. Normally with him he is here with them in the Tour de France and he knows that we will support him 100 per cent and we continue to negotiate with him," Azevedo told Cyclingnews ahead of the Tour.