Archive for the ‘Katusha’ Category

Ardennes Roundup: Dominant Week for Valverde!

Monday, April 28th, 2014
100th Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2014 Podium with Alejandro Valverde / (c) TDWsport.com

After 263 KM of racing and over 4700 metres of climbing, just one bike length separated Alejandro Valverde from victory at the finish line of Liège-Bastogne-Liège yesterday. The Spaniard came tantalisingly close to winning one of the toughest physical tests in cycling, only to be edged out by Simon Gerrans of ORICA-GreenEDGE in the sprint for the line.

Nevertheless, yesterday’s result capped off a fantastic week for Valverde and the Movistar Team. By piloting his Ultimate CF SLX to fourth in the Amstel Gold Race, a memorable victory on the Mur de Huy in Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne and second place yesterday, Valverde proved to be the strongest and most consistent rider throughout the Ardennes Classics: “First, second and fourth in three Classics, there aren’t many out there who can achieve these results. […] I can’t really ask for much more.”

With eight victories to his name so far this season, Valverde is currently the most successful rider in the peloton in 2014. What’s more, he celebrated his 34th birthday on Friday. Valverde will now take a well-deserved break from racing before building up for an assault on the Tour de France in July.

Fourth for Caruso, no luck for Rodríguez

Heading into the Ardennes week, much expectation lay on the shoulders of Joaquim Rodríguez having performed exceptionally in these races over the years. Unfortunately though, this year it wasn’t to be as crashes took him out of both Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne. The damage sustained meant “Purito” couldn’t possibly be at his best for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, forcing him to withdraw prior to the finale.

Katushas Giampaolo Caruso pushing hard at Liege - Bastogne - Liege 2014 / (c) TDWsport.com

The baton was therefore handed to Katusha’s other uphill specialists, with Dani Moreno and Giampaolo Caruso performing exceptionally across the week. Moreno was a constant feature in the top-ten, with 9th place in all three races, meanwhile Caruso animated both Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège with attacking displays. The Sicilian, who normally rides in aid of others, made the most of the opportunity to ride for himself by attacking in the finale of yesterday’s race, only to be swallowed up by his pursuers within 100 metres from the line. Caruso still managed to hold on to take fourth place and with it Team Katusha’s best result of the Ardennes week.

Grand Tours just around the corner

With the 2014 Spring Classics season over, it’s now time for the Grand Tours. Up first is the Giro d’Italia, which starts on the 9th of May in Northern Ireland. We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the latest action as Nairo Quintana of Movistar Team and Rodríguez with Katusha fight it out for the pink jersey!

Canyon Pro Sports

Made for the Mur: Valverde takes historic Flèche Wallonne for Canyon

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Alejandro Valverde takes Flèche Wallone 2014 /(c) TDWsport.com

On the final brutal ascent of the Mur de Huy, it was Movistar Team’s Alejandro Valverde who proved the strongest to take a historic victory for Canyon at Flèche Wallonne.

Following wins in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Canyon bikes have now triumphed four times on the trot at the Ardennes Classic, in an unprecedented run of success.

With gradients well in excess of 20%, watching the legendary finish up the Mur de Huy resembles a super-slow-motion bunch sprint – few other races in the world provide such a vivid impression of the riders’ effort. To succeed, the winner has to time their effort to perfection – go too early and you’ll fade away, wait too long and it’s too late.

Valverde, who also triumphed in the race back in 2006, proved to have the legs and the experience as he built a gap over a select group of uphill specialists on his Ultimate CF SLX just after the steepest section of the climb.

Having notched up his eighth victory of the year, the Spaniard becomes the most successful rider so far in 2014 and will go into Sunday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège as the man to watch. The race marks the climax of the Ardennes Week and could be the perfect birthday present for Valverde, who turns 34 on Friday.

Canyon Pro Sports

Tour of Flanders Preview: Katusha and Movistar Team Ready to Attack the Cobbles

Friday, April 4th, 2014
Katushas Luca Paolini leading the peloton on the cobblestones / Photo: TDWsport.com

The 98th edition of the Tour of Flanders will roll out from the centre of Bruges on Sunday to mark the start of one of most evocative, demanding, and downright insane spectacles in professional cycling. For the cycling-mad locals, it doesn’t get any bigger than De Ronde van Vlaanderen. Their race eclipses all other events on the international sporting calendar, and that includes the Tour de France. The proof lies in the millions who come out to line the course just to catch a glimpse of their heroes in action. All across the region they congregate on the cobbled climbs, bier in one hand, frites in the other, to celebrate this festival of cycling.

The Challenge Ahead

While the spectators soak up the atmosphere, the riders undergo an all-together different experience. Between Bruges and Oudenaarde the course winds its way over 260 km to tackle 17 fierce Hellingen in total. What these climbs may lack in altitude, they more than make up for with gradients in excess of 20% in addition to the race’s defining feature: the cobbles! It is a true test of a rider, requiring the very highest levels of endurance, power, bike-handling skills, experience, tactical nous, as well as the very best from their equipment: one mechanical mishap at the wrong time and it’s game over.

Profile Ronde van Vlaanderen 2014 / Photo: rvv.be

Katusha Back Two-Pronged Attack

One rider more who is than up for this challenge is Katusha’s Classics specialist, Luca Paolini. The 37-year-old has all the necessary experience to be considered a real frontrunner for Sunday and is already planning how he can go for the win: “I’ll have two days to mull over where to attack […] I’ll have a film in my head beforehand of what I’d like to do.”

Katushas Luca Paolini leading the peloton on the cobblestones / Photo: TDWsport.com

While Paolini is ready to go on the offensive, should a select group arrive at the line to fight out the sprint, Katusha will have one of the big favourites in their line-up in Alexander Kristoff, who came fourth in last year’s race. The Italian and the Norwegian combined perfectly in the finale of Milan-Sanremo two weeks ago, and if similar circumstances play out on Sunday, a second Monument victory in 2014 could be on the cards for the Russian ProTeam.

Katushas Alexander Kristoff fighting on the cobblestones / Photo: TDWsport.com

An Open Race for Movistar Team

Despite not achieving great results in previous editions of De Ronde, Movistar Team cannot be discounted, especially with the team backing Andrey Amador. The Costa-Rican loves racing in the cobbled classics, as was proved at Gent-Wevelgem last Sunday where his determined breakaway attempt only got caught by the peloton within the final 1000 metres.

Movistar Teams Andrey Amador attacking on the cobblestones / Photo: TDWsport.com

With the likes of Giovanni Visconti and JJ Rojas out with injury, Sunday provides a great opportunity for some of the squad’s youngest members, including German Jascha Sütterlin and Spaniard JuanJo Lobato, who will be taking on their first Ronde.

Canyon wishes Katusha and Movistar Team the best of luck and looks forward to an exciting race!

Provisional Lineups for our ProTeams: 
Katusha: 
GUSEV Vladimir, ISAYCHEV Vladimir, KRISTOFF Alexander, KUCHYNSKI Aliaksandr, KUZNETSOV Viacheslav, PAOLINI Luca, SMUKULIS Gatis, TSATEVICH Alexey
Movistar Team: 
AMADOR Andrey, ERVITI Imanol, GUTIéRREZ Iván, LOBATO Juan Jose, DOWSETT Alex, QUINTANA Dayer, SÜTTERLIN Jasha, VENTOSO Fran

Canyon Pro Sports

Home Victory for Purito at 2014 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Joaquim “Purito” Rodríguez of Team Katusha maintained a narrow lead in yesterday’s final stage of the 94th Volta Ciclista a Cataluya to take the overall ranking for the second time in his career, following victory in 2010. Just one week after Kristoff’s emphatic win in Milan-Sanremo, Katusha once again came away from the weekend with a big haul of points for the UCI WorldTour rankings. The weeklong stage race takes place on Purito’s home turf and attracted a stellar field with several grand tour favourites, such as Chris Froome and Alberto Contador taking the start but unable to better the local favourite over the mountainous route.

Purito wins Stage 3 of Volta Catalunya 2014 / Photo: TDWsport.com

Climbing High to GC Success

The foundations for overall victory were laid on the stage 3 mountaintop finish to La Molina. Rodríguez proved once again that he is one of the best in the world when it comes to steep uphill finishes by sprinting away on his Aeroad CF within the snow-lined final kilometre to gain vital seconds on the rest of his GC rivals. The stage marked Purito’s first win of the 2014 season and put him in the race leader’s jersey.

Katusha and Movistar Team leading the peloton at Volta Catalunya 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

Over the following stages Katusha controlled the race well to defend Purito’s slender lead against the inevitable attacks from Contador, who lay just 4 seconds behind on GC. Katusha Directeur Sportif, Dmitry Konyshev, was pleased with the outcome of the race: “This WorldTour win is important for the team and for Joaquim too because he’s Catalan.”

Purito celebrating on the podium of Volta Catalunya 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

Rodríguez now looks in great shape for his major 2014 objectives: “Now I look forward to trying to win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and then on to the Giro d’Italia.”

Quintana 5th for Movistar Team

Columbia’s Nairo Quintana was the second Canyon pro to feature at the sharp end of the GC, only ten seconds down on Rodríguez, highlighting just what a close fought race the 2014 edition of the Volta a Catalunya was. Quintana is also looking to build his form ahead of the Giro d’Italia in May, and seems to be on the right track after this week and his 2nd place at Tirreno-Adriatico

Canyon Pro Sports

Kristoff Wins Monumental Milan-Sanremo

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Alexander Kristoff wins Milan - Sanremo 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

Norwegian sprints to career-defining victory  

Alexander Kristoff of Team Katusha took the biggest win of his career yesterday at the 2014 edition of Milan-San Remo. The Norwegian triumphed in the cold and the rain by unleashing a powerful sprint on his Ultimate CF SLX at the end of 300 km and just under seven hours of tough racing. His success in Italy’s biggest one-day race marks the third victory in a Monument for Katusha following Joaquim Rodríguez’s successive wins at Il Lombardia in 2012 and 2013.

Katusha to the fore in the wind and rain

With the blizzards and freezing conditions of the 2013 edition still fresh in the memories of many, nobody could blame the riders for longing after more pleasant conditions this year. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t to be as they rode through rain and hail for the entirety of the race, providing a spectacle of endurance and suffering for spectators at home.

Katusha leading the Peloton at Milan - Sanremo 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

Katusha proved to be among those most hardened to the extreme conditions with many riders still present in the finale to work for Kristoff and all riders finishing the race. The Russian duo of Pavel Brutt and Aleksandr Kuchynski were highly visible through the gloomy conditions, upping the pace in a depleted peloton prior to the penultimate climb of the day, up the Cipressa, to reel in the day’s break.

Heading up the race’s final climb of the Poggio, which topped out just 6 km from the finish line, Kristoff was able to stay in touch with the front group as several riders attempted to break away and put the sprinters in difficulty. Fortunately for Kristoff he still had Italian Classics specialist Luca Paolini at his side. Paolini put in an enormous effort to shepherd Kristoff back to the front of the pack down the dangerous descent into Sanremo and then kept the pace high to within the last 600 metres, putting off any late attacks.

Luca Paolini at Milan - Sanremo 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

Sprint Royale

An elite group of around 25 riders made it to the line to fight for the win with many of the pre-race favourites and previous winners still present, including Fabian Cancellara, Gerald Ciolek, Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. Nevertheless, with some 300 km in the legs Kristoff proved to be the strongest, surging ahead in the final 150 metres to win by a couple of bike lengths over Cancellara and Team Sky’s Ben Swift.

Alexander Kristoff on the podium at Milan - Sanremo 2014 / Photo: Tim De Waele

“It was the best moment of my life”, claimed a delighted Kristoff after the finish, who was keen to highlight the work by his teammate Paolini: “I just said, ‘I’m here Luca,’ and he brought me to the front. He could stay in the group, follow the attacks and he did a great job. I’m very thankful to him. […] A sprint after 300 km is different from one after 200 km. Normally I don’t lose much power even on a long stage”. The Norwegian is well aware of the significance of yesterday’s win and the impact it will have, “Milan-Sanremo really puts you on the map and it’ll always stay in my career. It’s important. It’s almost unbelievable.”

Lobato takes 4th for Movistar Team

Perhaps one of the most standout performances yesterday came from Spain’s Juanjo Lobato, who in his debut Milan-Sanremo just missed out on the podium by finishing 4th. It was a hugely encouraging display by the young sprinter who is in his first season for Movistar Team and rounded off a perfect day for Canyon.

Canyon bikes have now triumphed six times in cycling’s Monuments since 2009.

Canyon Pro Sports

Tirreno-Adriatico Roundup: TT & GC Success for Movistar Team

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It’s a busy time in the UCI WorldTour right now with the recent conclusion of stage races in France and Italy, and cycling’s one-day “monuments” looming just around the corner. Tirreno-Adriatico came to a close yesterday bringing an end to yet another successful week for Canyon riders: Movistar Team claimed 2nd in the GC and a stage victory through Nairo Quintana and Adriano Malori respectively, while Dani Moreno of Katusha put in strong performances throughout the week to finish 8th overall.

Magnificent Malori takes closing time trial

Adriano Malori / Photo: Graham Watson

A flat 9.5 km out-and-back time trial along the Adriatic coastline stood between the peloton and the end of a gruelling week of racing through the heart of Italy, which included riding up the country’s steepest road with gradients in excess of 30%. What better place then, for an Italian to triumph? Adriano Malori stunned the rest of the field aboard the Speedmax CF, powering to victory and taking some major scalps in the process.

Malori described his performance yesterday as “the most beautiful victory” of his entire life and after one glance at the results, who could disagree? The Italian overcame the elite of world time-trialling by not only beating Fabian Cancellara into 2nd place by six seconds, but also reigning Olympic Champion, Bradley Wiggins, and World Champion, Tony Martin. In his own words, “it almost feels like a dream to win in front of the best specialists in the world.”

Quintana defends 2nd place in GC    

Nairo Quintana & Dani Moreno / Photo: Graham Watson

Malori’s was not the only standout performance in yesterday’s ITT as Nairo Quintana consolidated his 2nd place in the GC, backing up his climbing performances from earlier in the race. With riders perceived as more adept time-trialists breathing down his neck, the Columbian proved yesterday he is not just exceptional in the hills by putting time into all his rivals including eventual race winner, Alberto Contador. As a key build up event ahead of the Giro d’Italia, things are heading in the right directions for Quintana’s big season goal: “I’m getting used to the way of racing in Italy, the roads, how everything works here”.

Tirreno-Adriatico: Nairo Quintana on the podium / Photo: Tim De Waele

A recent spate of time-trial equipment testing, training and wind tunnel time has paid dividends for Movistar Team. In the race’s opening TTT they surprised the rest of the field with an impressive display to finish 3rd, and in addition to Malori’s victory yesterday British national champion Alex Dowsett also finished 6th.  In a discipline where equipment plays such a vital role, the gains provided by the Speedmax CF have been backed up by three victories already in 2014.

Alex Dowsett / Photo: Graham Watson

Milan-Sanremo Preview: La Primavera kicks off 2014 monuments

In a sport with such a rich history as cycling, there are some races that transcend all others: Milan-Sanremo is one such race. Considered one of cycling’s five monuments, at a shade under 300km it is the longest race of the season, with the distance alone presenting a major obstacle to the riders in addition to the short coastal climbs that feature in its finale. As such, past winners include a wide mix of classics specialists, sprinters and GC riders.

Luca Paolini / Photo: Graham Watson

Katusha animated last year’s snow-disrupted race with an attacking display and Alexander Kristoff eventually took the sprint behind the break in brutal conditions. So far this year the Norwegian has shown good form, taking a stage win at the Tour of Oman last month, and is a good bet as a sprinter who also climbs well. Another contender from the Russian outfit is Italian classics specialist Luca Paolini, who thrives in tough conditions and will no doubt be especially motivated for his country’s biggest one day race.

Movistar Team will be backing Jose Joaquín Rojas who stood out at last week’s Paris-Nice as the most consistent rider in the whole race. Other options for the Spanish squad should the race come down to a sprint finish include Fran Ventoso and Juanjo Lobato, who already has a number of podium finishes to his name in 2014.

Canyon Pro Sports

Paris-Nice Roundup: Two Canyon Riders in Top-10

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The 2014 “Race to the Sun” came to a close yesterday as the peloton charged along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice under clear skies, bringing an end to eight exciting and unpredictable days of racing in France. An experimental parcours characterised the 2014 edition with the lack of both summit finishes and time trials meaning the overall classification remained open throughout with just a handful of seconds separating the main contenders.

In the end it was Carlos Betancur from Colombia who triumphed with two Canyon riders featuring inside the top-10: Katusha’s Simon Spilak finished in eighth and Movistar Team’s Jose Joaquin Rojas rounded off the week just off the podium in fourth.

Having achieved a good result in 2013, Spilak was able to showcase his climbing talent once the race hit the hills of southern France and was prominent as one of the most attacking riders in the peloton, coming to within just a kilometre of holding off the bunch on the final stage into Nice.

Movistar Team wins team classification at Paris-Nice / Photo: Tim De Waele

Meanwhile, JJ Rojas was perhaps the most consistent rider in the entire race, featuring in both the sprints and the more technical finishes, and came incredibly closest to victory on the final stage, where he crossed the line second. Movistar Team also come away from the race with the Team Classification, underlining a solid performance for the squad.

All Eyes on Italy

Paris-nice was not the only UCI WorldTour race going on over the past week. Focus now switches to the remaining two stages of Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy before Milan-San Remo, the year’s first “Monument”, takes place on Sunday. Three Canyon riders are currently well-placed at Tirreno-Adriatico, with Movistar Team leader Nairo Quintana lying in second and both Dani Moreno and Giampaolo Caruso of Katusha in 7th and 9th respectively.

We’ll give you a roundup of Tirreno-Adriatico and take a look forward to “La Classicisima” later in the week.

Canyon Pro Sports

Key Week for Katusha and Movistar Team in WorldTour

Friday, March 7th, 2014

It‘s getting to that time of year when road fans are spoilt for choice by all the action coming their way. This week sees not just one, but two UCI WorldTour stage races taking place, with Paris-Nice getting underway yesterday in France and Tirreno-Adriatico set to start in Italy on Wednesday. Both these races are among the top tier of UCI WorldTour events, so all riders will be looking to put in a big performance: Katusha and Movistar Team are no exception.

Katusha / Photo: Tim De Waele

The Race to the Sun

Despite missing out in the bunch sprint in yesterday’s opening stage, Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff has a stage win firmly in his sights during this week’s “Race to the Sun”. The Norwegian is looking to build his form ahead of the Spring Classics, having already taken a victory this year at the Tour of Oman. With no time-trials or summit finishes in this year’s edition, the race favours classics specialists like Kristoff, although last year’s fourth-place finisher Simon Spilak will no doubt come to the fore when the race hits the hills in the south of France.

Fourth in yesterday’s stage, Movistar Team come with Jose Joaquin Rojas challenging in the sprints and the likes of the Izaguirre brothers, Sylvester Szmyd and Frenchman John Gadret looking to do damage in the hillier stages.

Movistar Team/ Photo: Tim De Waele

The Race of the Two Seas

Tirreno-Adriatico kicks off this Wednesday with the first Team Time Trial of the year, an 18 km test where the Spanish ProTeam will be looking to put their recent TTT training and time in the wind tunnel to good effect. Nairo Quintana leads the squad as he continues his preparation for the Giro d’Italia and will be supported by strong rouleurs such as Alex Dowsett, Jonathan Castroviejo and Adriano Malori, who will use the opening stage to set their leader up for a tilt at the overall classification.

One rider notorious for thriving on the short sharp ascents that characterise Tirreno-Adriatico is Dani Moreno, who will lead Katusha in Italy from Wednesday. Lining up alongside the Spaniard will be Italian tough guy Luca Paolini and former Russian national champion Alexander Kolobnev.

Stay tuned for a fantastic week of racing to come!

Canyon Pro Sports

Wednesday Winners: Two Victories in One Day for Canyon

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Alexander Kristoff wins the second stage of the 2014 Tour of Oman / Photo: Tim De Waele

When you’re only halfway through the week and your riding plans at the weekend still seem a way off, it’s easy to see why people refer to Wednesday as the “hump” day.

Nevertheless, Canyon got a mid-week boost yesterday with not one, but two victories coming from our UCI ProTeams. No sooner had Norwegian Alexander Kristoff opened Team Katusha’s 2014 victory account at the Tour of Oman when Alejandro Valverde blasted through the streets of southern Spain to take the win in the prologue of the Vuelta a Andalucia.

First win in the bag for Katusha and Kristoff 

Kristoff has clearly bounced back well from the bad luck that plagued him at the Tour of Qatar, where he crashed heavily. After finishing in the top 10 on stage one in Oman, at the end of stage two he was able to show his good early season form and tactical nous by sprinting into a block headwind in a bunch kick against a strong field.

Kristoff now sits in second place in the overall standings with the situation looking good for the coming northern classics, which the Norwegian has set among his main 2014 objectives.

Alexander Kristoff on the podium after the second stage of the 2014 Tour of Oman / Photo: Tim De Waele

TT Prep pays off for Movistar Team 

Further west in sunny southern Spain, the Vuelta a Andalucia kicked off yesterday with a technical 7.3km prologue through Almeria. Fresh from a training camp to hone their positions aboard their new Speedmax CF time trial machines, Movistar Team was able reap the rewards by placing three riders in the top 10 with Valverde now leading the race. In an exhibition of supreme bike handling, Valverde ripped through the corner-strewn course and at one point even overtook the race commissaire’s motorbike.

The Spaniard was clearly pleased with his new bit of kit, stating, “It was the first time on my new TT bike and this debut was impossible to improve. We are very satisfied with how it works.” Teammates Jon Izaguirre and Javier Moreno now sit in 3rd and 7th position respectively as the squad looks in fine nick heading into the remaining four stages.

Alejandro Valverde on his way to winning the opening prologue of the 2014 Vuelta a Andalucia / Photo: Graham Watson

On the hunt for every last watt

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Team Katusha is tireless when it comes to gaining more performance for less effort and Canyon is always there to help seek out those crucial advantages. Every single watt saved improves an athlete’s endurance and overall speed so it’s no surprise that teams these days deploy all resources available to them in order to make their riders and equipment even quicker. Canyon Team Liaison Manager, Andreas Walzer, plus a mechanic from our R&D department were on hand at Magny Cours in France to oversee a wind tunnel test with selected riders from Team Katusha. The purpose of the test was to analyse and improve the riders’ performance by trying different helmet models, various skinsuits as well as altering the highly versatile cockpit on the Speedmax CF.

Canyon Team Liaison Andreas Walzer and a Canyon Mechanic working on the Speedmax CF // Foto: A.C.E. Magny-Cours Iurii Trofimov - Katusha Team // Foto: A.C.E. Magny-Cours Anton Vorobyev - Katusha Team // Foto: A.C.E. Magny-Cours Egor Silin - Katusha Team // Foto: A.C.E. Magny-Cours