Future Russian cycling team Katusha, which will be created from the current Tinkoff formation, announced the recruitment of experienced Australian Robbie McEwen and Russian Vladimir Karpets on Monday.
McEwen and Karpets will join up with Italian Filippo Pozzato and Belgian sprinter Gert Steegmans to form the new team. Belgian bike maker Ridley has signed on to supply the new team through 2011, replacing Colnago.
Tinkoff, owned by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov, said 36-year-old McEwen was joining from Silence along with the 27-year-old Karpets, who arrives from Caisse d'Epargne. Karpets won the Tour of Switzerland last year.
Katusha is the mainstay of a multi-million dollar new Russian Global Cycling Project foundation which enjoys the backing of sponsors including energy giant Gazprom and energy/real estate company Itera.
Already snapped up were Alexandre Botcharov from Credit Agricole, Spaniards Antonio Colom (Astana) and Joan Horrach (Caisse d'Epargne), as well as Belgians Kenny de Haes (Topsport) and Stijn Vandenbergh (AG2R).
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008