Team Katusha’s president, Andrei Tchmil will leave his post and make an eventual run for the UCI Presidency in 2012, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“We are preparing,” he told the Italian newspaper, “you will see the results.”
Tchmil will run for president of the European Cycling Union next year and organise Russia’s new WorldTour stage race, the Moscow-Sochi Tour. He aims to replace current president Pat McQuaid in the 2012 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) elections.
All change at the top in Katusha
Former team Gerolsteiner boss, Hans-Michael Holczer was presented as Katusha’s new general manager on Thursday in Moscow. Holczer managed Gerolsteiner from 1998 to 2008. Three of his former cyclists – Davide Rebellin, Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher – tested positive in 2008 for EPO-CERA.
Holczer will bring a German feel to the Russian team and hire staff from team HTC-Highroad, which disbands at the end of this year. Former Gerolsteiner sports director, Christian Henn will join. Mark Cavendish’s sprint coach at HTC, German Erik Zabel may also join.
HTC’s trainer, German Sebastian Webber will take the place of Italian Sandro Callari.
Germans and former Gerolsteiner cyclists, Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann have been linked to the new team. They may leave team Leopard-Trek, which will merge with RadioShack and cut jobs.
HTC sports director, Italian Valerio Piva announced last month that he would take a similar role at Katusha. He will team up with Italian sprint legend, Mario Cipollini, who joined last year to develop Katusha’s young sprinters.
The new additions leave little space for some of Katusha’s current sports directors.
“I am expecting a call from Holczer,” current Katusha DS Serge Parsani told Cycling Weekly, “to understand what the future will be.”
Holczer was unavailable when Cycling Weekly called.
Katusha will have four teams: World Tour, Continental, Under 23 and Under 21. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported its annual budget at €15 million.
“Katusha will continue to grow and achieve brilliant and significant victories in the main races of the World Tour calendar,” said Russian cycling president, Igor Makarov, in a press statement. The project intends “to develop the Russian cycling and strengthen its position worldwide.”
Holczer confirmed this and said that his aim is to win World and Olympic titles for the team’s Russian riders.
Katusha’s Alexandr Kolobnev was the only rider to test positive for a banned substance during this year’s Tour de France in July.
Kolobnev tests positive at Tour de France