Ilnur Zakarin in 2017 Katusha-Alpecin kit

Switzerland | Team website

During its first few seasons after a debut in 2009, the Katusha squad was a motley assortment of underachieving Russians, plus Joaquim Rodríguez and Alexander Kristoff, who covered the dysfunction of the team with a veneer of very respectable placings and wins.

With Rodríguez retiring at the end of 2016, the team’s Grand Tour hopes have now switched to home-grown talent Ilnur Zakarin. The Russian has been building up an impressive palmares, not least a stage win in the 2016 Tour de France.

A change of name to Katusha-Alpecin, and a change of country of registration from Russia to Switzerland for 2017 saw the team take on a more international flavour.

The squad should be able to count on time trial world champion Tony Martin – signed from Etixx-QuickStep – to produce his usual selection of victories against the clock.

Katusha-Alpecin unveiled their new team clothing at the squad’s 2017 launch event in Calpe, Spain, on Saturday. Shampoo manufacturer Alpecin joins the previously-Russian WorldTour team as co-title-sponsor, having previously sponsored…