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Gusev and Ignatyev lead Katusha Team in Beijing

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Itera - Katusha and Katusha Team will race the TTT

Itera - Katusha and Katusha Team will race the TTT (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vladimir Gusev

Vladimir Gusev (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) on a typical attack

Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) on a typical attack (Image credit: Fabrice Lambert)

With Joaquim Rodriguez having already secured victory in the 2012 UCI WorldTour individual ranking, the Spaniard will not ride the Tour of Beijing, with his Katusha team naming a low-key team lead by Russian riders Vladimir Gusev and Mikhail Ignatyev.

Rodriguez tops the WorldTour ranking with 692 points, ahead of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) on 601 and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma- QuickStep), who is distant third with 410 points. With Wiggins having already ended his season, Rodriguez was able to celebrate winning the WorldTour ranking when he won the Tour of Lombardy.

Katusha is second overall in the team ranking behind Team Sky and so does not need to chase UCI points in China to secure their place in the 2013 WorldTour. As a result all of their big-name riders have already ended the 2012 season.

The Katusha Team riders selected for the Tour of Beijing are: Maxim Belkov, Vladimir Gusev, Marco Haller, Mikhail Ignatyev, Petr Ignatenko, Timofey Kritskiy, Rudiger Selig and Alexey Tsatevich.

The Tour of Beijing begins on Tuesday with a 117km stage from Tian An Men Square to the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium.

Big name riders include Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin and Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Sharp), Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and 2011 overall winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).