KATUSHA and SRAM set for 2018 Tour de France
Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s 2018 Tour de France roster is built to contend in mass sprints and summit finishes alike. In the bunch gallops, the well-honed KATUSHA train is built to position German sprinter Marcel Kittel 75 meters from the line. Last year, Kittel won a five stages. Fellow German is a well-practiced lead-out man. In the mountains, Russian Ilnur Zakarin, a past Tour stage winner, is after a podium placing. This year’s Tour features eight riders from each team, down one from years past.
This Tour de France stays within France with the exception of 15 kilometers in Spain, but of course France offers an abundance of beautiful scenery and diverse terrain as well. The famed cobblestones of the Spring Classics return to the Tour, with riders tackling 21.7 km over 15 sectors in the Arras-Roubaix Stage 9. Watch for Tony Martin of Germany to be a key rider in that stage. KATUSHA also will rely on Martin in the team time trials and the lead-out train. Another interesting storyline for KATUSHA’s Tour is the participation of American Ian Boswell, an all-around rider making his Tour de France debut.
KATUSHA Tour Roster
Ilnur ZAKARIN (RUS), Marcel KITTEL (GER), Ian BOSWELL (USA), Robert KIŠERLOVSKI (CRO), Pavel KOCHETKOV (RUS), Tony MARTIN (GER), Nils POLITT (GER), Rick ZABEL (GER)
Sport directors: Dmitry KONYSHEV, Torsten SCHMIDT, Gennady MIKHAYLOV
What they’re riding
SRAM RED eTap and eTap Aero with Clics
Zipp wheels including full Firecrest lineup, 454 NSW Tubular, and Super-9 Disc
Quarq power meters
The 105th Tour de France at a Glance
Saturday July 7-Sunday July 29
21 stages covering 3,351 kilometers
8 flat stages
5 hilly stages
6 mountain stages and 3 altitude finishes (La Rosière, Alpe d’Huez, Saint-Lary-Soulan col du Portet)
1 individual time-trial
1 team time-trial
2 rest days
The 2018 Tour de France will include a total of 26 mountain climbs or hills and altitude finishes ranked in second, first of HC class.
Photo copyright Getty Images