Team KATUSHA ALPECIN have reached agreements with three returning riders, Alex Dowsett, Reto Hollenstein and Marco Haller.
British rider Dowsett, age 29, came to the team this season and has made himself at home with KATUSHA ALPECIN.
General Manager José Azevedo: “Alex has signed with us for another two years. He just came to us this year and is such a good time trialist but he can also be important for us in the lead-out for our sprinters. We also like what we see in his interactions within the group. He’s new but has fit in really well with the team. We’ve signed him with the idea that he can win races and this year he was close in some time trials. We expect victories from him in the future, especially in the time trials and we will continue to work with him on this point. We believe in him and that he can win.”
Also re-signing for two years is Swiss rider Reto Hollenstein, age 32.
GM Azevedo: “Reto is a very important rider to us in the group. He always sacrifices for the leaders and gives us his maximum. He always comes prepared to his races in good shape. He never looks for anything for himself – he’s always working for the interests of the team above everything else. It’s important to have these riders in the team with the type of mentality that he is willing to give us everything.”
Despite suffering multiple fractures of the left knee in April when a car hit him during a training ride, Marco Haller has worked hard to come back from his crash and will resume racing soon. He has penned a one-year contract extension with KATUSHA ALPECIN.
Azevedo shows dedication and belief in the 27-year old Austrian: “Marco suffered a bad accident earlier this year, but has been part of our group for seven years on this team. He turned professional with this team. He’s always been an important rider both in and out of the race and we always believe in Marco. It’s at these bad moments in his life and career that he needs to know that the team appreciates everything he’s done over the past years. We don’t sign him to pay him back for what he’s done in previous years but because we want Marco in the team. He’s an important rider for us, especially for Marcel Kittel in the sprints. He’s the leader inside the lead-out group. Everything we want to impart to our young riders is shown by example from Marco. He’s professional, always brings a good attitude, and we never had doubts about him after his crash. We called him many times during his recovery so he could feel the support of his team. We don’t expect any results from him this year but we are confident in him and this is why we have re-signed him for another year.”
Photos © Tim De Waele / Getty Images