News shorts: Katusha, Velocio-SRAM announce Worlds TTT rosters

Katusha announce Worlds team time trial roster

Team Katusha have announced their roster for Sunday’s UCI Road World Championship team time trial. Katusha will field a nearly all-Russian roster with exception of Gatis Smukulis. The Latvian will join Sergei Chernetckii, Viacheslav Kuznetsov, Sergey Lagutin, Aleksandr Porsev and Ilnur Zakarin in the race.

Katusha have never medaled in the race since it was reintroduced in 2012. QuickStep teams won the first two years, with BMC claiming gold last year in Ponferrada, Spain. Orica-GreenEdge and Sky are the only other teams who have reached the podium.

Katusha had one team trial win this year at the Tour of Austria in July. Smukulis was the only riders from the Worlds roster on that team.

Velocio-SRAM announces riders for Worlds team time trial

Defending team time trial World Champions Velocio-SRAM today announced their roster for Sunday’s race in Richmond, with three-time TTT winner Trixi Worrack leading the team along with two-time winners Lisa Brennauer and Karol-Ann Canuel.

Bronze medalist in this event in 2014 Alena Amialiusik joins the line-up, along with German time trial champion Mieke Kroeger and Italian Barbara Guarischi.

“The riders are healthy and in good shape,” said team director Ronny Lauke. “If it doesn't work out again, someone else must have been simply stronger and better skilled. But I like the fact that more teams are riding within close reach to each other, which makes the event more interesting and does show even more the beauty of it.”

Velocio-SRAM lost its first team time trial in more than three years last month at the Valvarde World Cup when Rabo-Liv took the TTT win. Lauke said the team was disappointed, but his riders have not lost their confidence.

“The races between Sweden TTT and now have shown that the form of the team is good and that we will be able, on a good day for the six riders, to compete again for the victory."

Katusha signs Colombian Restrepo for two years

Team Katusha announced today they have signed trainee Jhonatan Restrepo two a two-year deal covering 2016 and 2017.

The 20-year-old Colombian competed with the team last month at the Vuelta a Burgos, where he finished 50th overall. Restrepo won the Panamerican championship U23 road race earlier this year, along with a stage and the points classification at the Vuelta de la Juventud, where he also finished third overall.

Restrepo is also an accomplished track rider, holding two national titles (Madison and pursuit) and gold medals in the Panamerican games and Panamerican track championships.

“To sign a contract for Team Katusha is like a dream coming true for me,” Restrepo said. “In the beginning of August I could feel already the atmosphere in this team when I participated with them, as a trainee, in the Vuelta a Burgos. The teammates all accepted me and gave me so much valuable advice.”

Restrepro also spent three days training with the team at San Sebastian, where he got to know Joaquim Rodriguez and other teammates who weren’t at Burgos.

“Purito Rodriguez has always been a kind of hero to me,” Restrepo said. “There he was so nice to me and a humble guy with lots of humor. I look forward to racing in Europe next year. It will be a long way to go, but I am motivated and prepared to listen and work for the others. Stage races or classics, I want it all.”

Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov said Restrepo’s performance at Burgos convinced the team to offer him the two-year deal.

“He worked hard for Dani Moreno,” Ekimov said. “He was immediately part of us. Jhonatan is the first-ever Colombian rider in Team Katusha. It makes it extra special for us. We are proud to have him with us and we will patiently let him grow in our team.”

Restrepo is currently in Richmond, Virginia, to compete in the U23 road race.

Optum names men's and women's rosters for Worlds TTT

The American Continental team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies today released its rosters for the men's and women's World Championship team time trials, with former US champion Tom Zirbel leading the the men's squad and former Canadian champion Leah Kirchman leading the women.

Zirbel will join Ryan Anderson, Jesse Anthony, Guillaume Boivin, Tom Soladay and Scott Zwizanski on the 38.8km course, while Amy Charity, Annie Ewart, Jasmin Glaesser, Maura Kinsella and Brianna Walle will join Kirchmann in the race.

This year will be the fourth consecutive year competing at Worlds for the men and the third for the women, who were seconds from the podium during last year’s event in Ponferrada, Spain. 

The Optum women won the US team time trial championship earlier this year and have been focusing on the discipline all season in the hope of climbing onto the podium in Richmond.

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