Viatcheslav Ekimov has confirmed that Katusha will have a major second sponsor. Although unwilling to confirm the name or nationality of the company involved, Ekimov told Cyclingnews that the deal would be completed and announced in the near future and that the company would join for a three-year period.
“We’re currently working on a sponsorship commitment and that will be decided very soon. Probably in the next week or two,” Ekimov told Cyclingnews at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
“Katusha will continue, that we know, but we’ll also have another big secondary sponsor. The goal is to be an international team so I can say it’s not a Russian sponsor. We’re looking at another three-year commitment.”
Katusha have been fairly quiet on the transfer front as the team manager Ekimov has concentrated on securing funding for the team’s long-term future. They already have Alexander Kristoff and Ilnur Zakarin tied down with contracts for next year, although veteran rider Joaquim Rodriguez is out of contract.
Ekimov was unwilling to go into details but added that he would be strengthening the team in certain areas.
“We’re not in a rush to sign anyone yet. There’s no panic. First we need to know what we’ll have and then we’ll talk to the riders. We need to increase the group around Kristoff. He has a contract. Then we’ll think about doing that with Zakarin, as he has a contract. We’re also looking for some young riders, and to develop them.”
Ekimov added that the market is alive with a lot of speculation and that riders were interested in joining the team for future.
“There are a few names, for sure, and we’re in touch with agents but we can’t say more than that. I don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves.”
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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