Italians replaced by Russians in final starting nine
Filippo Pozzato and fellow Italian Luca Paolini have been dropped from the Katusha line-up from the Giro d’Italia after the team opted to build the final starting line-up around leader and overall contender Joaquim Rodriguez instead of targeting stage victories.
Pozzato had a poor spring classics campaign and was publicity critcised by Katusha team manager Andrei Tchmil. The Italian’s contract ends this year and he has already been linked with new Australian GreenEdge team and Lampre-ISD which is set to be rebuilt for 2012 after being embroiled in the Mantova doping investigation.
Pozzato was given race number 81 in the provisional Giro d’Italia start list issued by race organiser RCS Sport last week but the Katusha team has replaced him and Paolini with Pavel Brutt and Eduard Vorganov. Brutt is known as a rouleur and won the Classica Sarda race this year. Vorganov is in his second year at Katusha after riding for Xacobeo-Galicia. He finished 65th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Announcing the line-up, the Katusha team said the team would not include "stage hunters, but riders with good team work and climbing attitudes for the final goal of the general classification that will be decided in the last, very tough week.”
The full Katusha line-up for the Giro d’Italia: Joaquim Rodriguez, Daniel Moreno, Alberto Losada, Joan Horrach, Danilo Di Luca, Giampaolo Caruso, Aleksandr Kuchynski, Pavel Brutt, Eduard Vorganov.