Katusha launches clothing brand in conjunction with pro team

Former Salomon executives form core of Geneva-based clothing team

Countless brands come to pro teams and put their logos on clothing, but Katusha Sports could be the first clothing brand to come directly from a team. Russian benefactor Igor Makarov, who launched the Russian global cycling project that culminated in Team Katusha, is backing the new Katusha Sports clothing brand, which launched April 1.

Katusha Sports has three lines of men's road clothing: the understated Essential, the Team Katusha-inspired Breakaway, and the loud-and-proud Beyond. Each are identical in fit, fabric and price; only the aesthetics are different.

Longtime apparel executive Jean Philippe-Torgue, most recently a vice president at Mavic sister company Salomon, is Katusha Sports' CEO. He brought with him two former Salomon employees, including apparel product director Mathieu Danel. 

"Katusha Sports is right in between the technical and the designer brands," Philippe-Torgue said, adding that while cycling has a lot of great history, "we want to be contemporary and modern, not to position ourselves in history like some other brands."

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The Katusha Sports Essential line is the most subdued, but features the same fit and fabrics as they others

Beyond the modern long sleeve and race fit, the Katusha Sports gear is notable for its use of the hyper-wicking 37.5 yarn and Schoeller fabrics. Other brands use 37.5 (most notably Mavic in its new road gear), but Danel said Katusha Sports is unique in its integrated approach.

"If moisture moves out of a 37.5 baselayer, but then stops with jacket, it doesn’t work," Danel said. "Pearl Izumi, Adidas, Nike, others have similar things in some pieces of clothing, but theirs is not a full collection done with the same technology."

Team Katusha has been riding in Katusha Sports apparel this season. Much of the clothing is made by some of the vendors used by OneWay, the same supplier who outfitted the team last year, as Katusha Sports ramps up its operations. 

A range of matching accessories are also available online:
A range of matching accessories are also available online:

There is a range of accessories in addition to the main pieces, which rely heavily on 37.5 fabric

"We have done all of the design," Danel said. "Since we just began the project in September, we didn’t have time to change all our product, so some of our product is similar to last season."

All the clothing is made in Europe, in Italy, Portugal and Romania, Danel said. Similarly, the brand's main focus for now is Europe, with online sales available now with all pricing in Euros, ranging from a €75 baselayer to a €140 superlight jersey to €210 bib shorts.

Katusha - the name of the russian team, and the name of the swiss-based clothing: katusha - the name of the russian team, and the name of the swiss-based clothing
Katusha - the name of the russian team, and the name of the swiss-based clothing: katusha - the name of the russian team, and the name of the swiss-based clothing

Katusha — it's a pro team, and now a clothing brand, too

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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