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Team Katusha presented in Moscow

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The official 2011 Team Katusha photograph

The official 2011 Team Katusha photograph
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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The riders pose in front of Lenin's Mausoleum

The riders pose in front of Lenin's Mausoleum
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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The Katusha riders outside Kremlin

The Katusha riders outside Kremlin
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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It was -10C in Moscow

It was -10C in Moscow
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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The riders were in suits rather than lycra

The riders were in suits rather than lycra
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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There was snow on the ground

There was snow on the ground
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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A young rider takes some snaps

A young rider takes some snaps
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Vladimir Karpets kept warm with a big hat

Vladimir Karpets kept warm with a big hat
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Team manager Andrei Tchmil shows a rare smile

Team manager Andrei Tchmil shows a rare smile
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Joaquin Rodriguez gets an award from UCI President Pat McQuaid

Joaquin Rodriguez gets an award from UCI President Pat McQuaid
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Alexandr Kolobnev

Alexandr Kolobnev
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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The riders on stage

The riders on stage
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Two riders pose in Red Square

Two riders pose in Red Square
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Karpets shows his hat while Serguei Ivanov shows how hard he is without one

Karpets shows his hat while Serguei Ivanov shows how hard he is without one
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Italian directeur sportif Serge Parsani and Filippo Pozzato

Italian directeur sportif Serge Parsani and Filippo Pozzato
(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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(Image credit: Team Katusha)
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Joaquin Rodriguez poses in front of an ice sculpture

Joaquin Rodriguez poses in front of an ice sculpture
(Image credit: Team Katusha)

The Katusha team held its official presentation in Moscow on Wednesday night after a private meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin near the Kremlin.

Now in its third season, the Russian team has made further promises to help develop cycling in Russia and will have a ProTeam, an Under 23 and an Under 21 team.

The 30-rider ProTeam roster includes Filippo Pozzato, world number one-ranked rider in 2010 Joaquin Rodriguez, Alexandr Kolobnev and Vladimir Karpets. New signings for 2011 include Leif Hoste, Luca Paolini and Danilo Di Luca, after the Italian completed his ban for doping.The team will use Focus bikes in 2011.

“We strongly believe in this team. In the last few seasons, despite being a young team, we were able to achieve some important results. We're starting our third year and needless to say, the goal is to do even better. We want to do well in the northern Classics and the grand tours,” Team Katusha's President Andrei Tchmil said during the presentation.

Katusha has a reported budget of 15 million Euro thanks to banking from gas companies Gazprom and Itera.

All the riders on the Katusha ProTeam travelled to Moscow for the presentation, except for Di Luca who was unable to obtain a visa in time for the trip after only recently joining the team. Special guest included UCI President Pat McQuaid Igor Makarov, the head of Itera. During the meeting with Vladimir Putin, the riders held a minutes silence to remember the recent victims of the terrorist attack at Moscow airport.

The riders posed for photographs in Red Square before the presentation despite temperatures of -10C. During the presentation Joaquin Rodriguez received an award from Pat McQuaid for topping the UCI world ranking, while Alexandr Kolobnev finally received his silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics following Davide Rebellin’s disqualification for doping.

Filippo Pozzato promised another major classics victory in 2011 after a consistent but quiet 2010 season.

“I’ve got to do better, I’m the first person to know that,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve shown I’m consistent. Now I want to get back to winning the big races. I love Milan-Sanremo but the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are also up there. The arrival of Paolini in the team, who ride with me at Quick Step and Liquigas, is a big help. I hope to do as well as we did when we last rode together.”