|Joaquin RODRIGUEZ OLIVER||Gianpaolo CARUSO||Alberto LOSADA ALGUACIL||Jacopo GUARNIERI||Tiago MACHADO||Marco HALLER||Luca PAOLINI||Dmitry KOZONTCHUK||Alexander KRISTOFF|
In six participations in the Tour de France, Russian team Katusha, the heir of the first Tinkoff team, founded in 2006 and riding at continental division level, has picked up four stage victories: the first on its debut on the Tour de France in 2009, by its road captain at the time Sergeï Ivanov, who has now retired from the pack; the second in 2010, at the summit of the Côte de la Croix Neuve in Mende, where Joaquim Rodriguez beat his countryman Alberto Contador, who himself had counter-attacked behind his Astana team-mate Alexandre Vinokourov; and the two most recent, the sprints won by Alexander Kristoff at Saint-Étienne and Nîmes in 2014.
Russians and Kazakhs seemed to be set to dominate world cycling with their huge budgets drawn from gas and oil extraction, but the “Russian Global Cycling Project”, which displayed the shapes of the Kremlin on the riders’ jerseys, has not progressed at the rhythm desired by its managers. Lacking local talent, Katusha however excelled on Le Tour when “Purito” Rodriguez, a regular runner-up on the Giro and the Vuelta, climbed, with his children Pablo and Elsa, onto the podium of the one hundredth edition next to Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana. The name of Alexander Kristoff has a Russian sound to it, but the Norwegian is more the heir apparent of Thor Hushovd. A powerful sprinter specialised in difficult finishes, the Viking of Stavanger has half of the team at his service and shares the responsibilities of leader with Rodriguez, who will perhaps be inspired for a final time by this mountainous Tour de France and the 40th anniversary of the Polka Dot Jersey’s creation, as his career seems to be reaching its end.
Stage victories: 4
- 2009: Sergeï Ivanov at Besançon
- 2010: Joaquim Rodriguez at Mende
- 2014: Alexander Kristoff at Saint-Etienne and Nîmes
Victories in secondary classifications: 0
Yellow Jerseys: 0
4: the number of stage victories won by Katusha in six participations on the Tour de France.
18th July 2009: in a transitional stage between the Vosges and Alps, veteran Sergeï Ivanov grabs the first victory for a Russian team in the history of the Tour de France.
20th July 2013: Joaquim Rodriguez, at Semnoz, knocks Alberto Contador off the final podium of the one hundredth Tour de France.
17th July 2014: Alexander Kristoff grabs the first stage victory after a sprint on the Tour de France for the Katusha team by beating Peter Sagan and Arnaud Démare at Saint-Étienne.