Katusha has concluded its first team meeting for the 2012 season, and took the opportunity to look back at their accomplishments from its third year of existence. Those accomplishments include 22 victories and a total of 67 podium places.
The top three riders for the team were Russians Pavel Brutt and Denis Galimzyanov. Brutt, 29, won the Classica Sardinia and a stage of the Tour de Romandie. The 24-year-old Galimzyanov made his breakthrough in 2011 in his third ProTour year. The sprinter won stages at the Three Days of De Panne, Tour of Luxembourg and Tour of Beijing, as well as the one-day race Paris-Bruxelles.
Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez was unable to repeat his victory in the UCI WorldTour ranking this season, but finished fourth. He started out the season with stage wins at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Criterium Dauphine, before doing well in Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and the Giro d'Italia.
The team really came into its own in the second half of the season. It won three stages at the Vuelta a Espana, with Rodriguez taking two and Daniel Moreno claiming one. In addition, Rodriguez very nearly won the points jersey, losing it only on the last stage.
Things also went well at the autumn Italian Classics, as Moreno won the Giro del Piemonte and Filippo Pozzato the GP Beghelli. The team also had three further podium places in those races. Finally, Egor Silin closed out the season for Katusha by winning the queen stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Changes in 2012
The team held its first training camp for 2012 in the middle of October, under the leadership of new general manager Hans-Michael Holczer. The get-together at Peschiera del Garda, Italy, was the chance for the team to meet the newcomers to the management, not only Holczer, but also the new head of Sport Directors Christian Henn, Sport Director Valerio Piva, head of technical development Michael Rich and sport scientist Sebastian Weber.
The first two days of the camp were dedicated to “hard work”, testing and fitting material before gong to the “high tech physical and psychological tests”. All of this was to help prepare the riders for the coming season and to choose their best training.
“But most of all, it was the chance to integrate the newcomers and team,” the team said. On the third day, “expert sport psychologists subjected everybody – athletes, managers, mechanics, therapists and so on – to some strategy and cooperation games, without making any distinction out of roles and nationalities.”
The camp was the first step for the 2012 season, dedicated “not only to victories at the best world races, but to the renaissance of the glory and traditions of Russian cycling.”