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Ekimov offers Rodriguez new contract but Katusha future still unclear

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Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov on stage with his team

Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov on stage with his team (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katusha go one-two with Alex Kristoff and Marco Haller on stage 1

Katusha go one-two with Alex Kristoff and Marco Haller on stage 1 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodríguez leads Katusha at the Dauphiné

Joaquim Rodríguez leads Katusha at the Dauphiné (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Team Katusha during stage 19 at the Giro d'Italia

Team Katusha during stage 19 at the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Katusha in action during the Dauphine's team time trial.

Team Katusha in action during the Dauphine's team time trial. (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Katusha team boss Viatcheslav Ekimov after the stage

Katusha team boss Viatcheslav Ekimov after the stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

They are enjoying arguably their best-ever season but Katusha team boss Viatcheslav Ekimov has little time to bask in any glory as he attempts to secure the long-term future of the team.

The Russian outfit’s WorldTour licence expires at the end of this season and although they have signed Classics hitman Alexander Kristoff for a further two seasons, Ekimov has at least 10 riders, including Joaquim Rodriguez, out of contract at the end of the year. To add to Ekimov’s in-tray he must also secure a confirmed sponsorship from Katusha for next year.

"This year we started a new procedure with the licence so we have no problem with sponsor commitments and we have a bright future," Ekimov optimistically told Cyclingnews at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

"Balancing that can be challenging but I think it’s logical, at least in our team. The support group for each rider can help both our leaders."