Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And now, we lay thee to rest...

With another year coming to a close, let us take a look at the teams that will not be seeing the light of day in 2016. In the current state of the cycling economy, it is bound to happen. A team's sponsor goes through a rough patch and stops making payments to the team. Riders are riding on hopes and dreams while surviving on oatmeal, pasta and the remnants of the team's energy products. You will see rider's selling their equipment early to make rent while the team will be absent at some races. Granted these are the worst case scenarios as some teams are able to budget through a whole season without imploding.

Itera-Katusha (Russia)
Oh, it is a sad day for Russia. Seriously, this was a team that dates back to 2008 with the first iteration of Katyusha led by Alexei Sivakov. We are going to take a moment and see all of the talent that passed through this team and if you enjoy seeing riders popped for doping...well, you are in for a treat.

It goes something like this...

Denis Galimzyanov, Timofey Kritskiy, Alexei Markov, Nikita Novikov, Alexander Porsev, Andrey Solomennikov, Petr Ignatenko, Vyacheslav Kuznetsov, Anton Vorobyev, Sergey Firsanov, Kovalev brothers, Alexei Tsatevich, Sergey Chernetskiy, Alexander Foliforov, Pavel Kochetkov, Ilnur Zakarin, Ildar Arslanov, Viktor Manakov and Matvey Mamykin.

And breath...

And this is without mentioning riders that even got a chance on the pro continental level. Talent factory but there are a number of names up there that got popped for doping. The team was shuttered on the back of news of two more doping positive from Ivan Lutsenko and Andrey Lukonin. In the announcement, a lack of budget (which is surprising seeing as the gas money had been pretty free flowing for a while) and a focus on Gazprom-RusVelo was mentioned.

Rest in peace, Itera-Katusha. You will be missed. Not necessarily by many but someone will miss you, I'm sure. Maybe. I mean, I liked some of your riders but you know, many Americans distrust Russians. Oh well, brush your shoulders off, kid.

Other Continental teams leaving us include:
African Wildlife Safaris (Australia)
CCT p/b Champion System (Belgium)
Champion System p/b Stan's No Tubes (USA)
MLP Team Bergstraße (Germany)
Frøy-Bianchi (Norway)
Team Idea 2010 (Italy)
Team Smartstop (USA)

Got any more that I missed? Let me know and they shall be added to the graveyard. I'm still waiting on some confirmation because some of those off the wall teams have made no announcements.


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