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Team Katusha Alpecin

Team Katusha Alpecin

Datum: 14.3.2019

At the beginning of January, NUTREND made a collaboration agreement with the professional cycling Team Katusha Alpecin, who have been running the UCI ProTour since 2009. For the upcoming 2019 season, NUTREND will be an exclusive partner in sports nutrition. General manager of TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN and former great cyclist José Azevedo introduces the history of the team and collective plans and goals for 2019.

As the Team KATUSHA ALPECIN General Manager, what was the most intense experience so far?
For me it was the period when I became General Manager at the end of the 2016 season. I had experience as a former rider and sports director, but suddenly I had to deal with all aspects of our company: car park, clothing, nutrition, negotiations with existing and potential sponsors, looking for new riders, discussing deals with riders’ managers, firing or contracting staff people. I learnt fast, but it was a very hectic period in my life. On the other hand, I can say that I succeeded. It was also the period of the birth of our clothing brand KATUSHA SPORTS, which made it more complicated but beautiful as well.
What would you say is your personal experience and feedback regarding the NUTREND products?
The season just started. So far nothing to complain about. On the contrary! Of course, I tested and tasted the products myself. Though it’s not the same, eating a bar or gel off or on the bike, I liked the tastes and - more important - all our riders like the NUTREND products. Taste, easiness and good digestion in good and bad weather conditions. We are happy.
As a rider how different is cycling nowadays from the cycling that you have been part of in the past?
A lot has changed, but most likely cycling in 2029 will be so different of cycling in 2019 as well. In the end, you need to do race kilometers on a bicycle and the fastest guy is the winner. This will never change. The bikes however are more sophisticated with electronical gear shifting, more aerodynamics, disc brakes, etc. Clothing is now much better, especially for the extreme weather circumstances. There are more rules as well. There are whereabouts and there is a biological passport. All riders are screened daily by team and by the International Cycling Federation. There is a close follow-up of the training activities of our riders. It’s all more professional but also more serious in the end. Professional cycling always has been a job, but now the riders feel more the stress of their responsibilities towards sponsors and even fans. Cycling is a hard job.
Taking into account the fact that the professional cycling season is pretty long, what does your own off-season look like?
It’s for me the moment to spend some time with my family. They deserve it. on the other hand, the off-season is not long. Already in December with have our first training camp. That camp needs to be prepared already in November in between all negotiations. In fact, there is no real off-season. One of your team slogans is „Race as a Family“.
How difficult is it to keep the good atmosphere in the team, among all these personalities?
As long as the team gets good results and victories, the atmosphere is good. Even very good. So, the best solution is to win. The name of the winner is not so important, as long as it is someone of Team KATUSHA ALPECIN. Even a big name or leader is happy when a young teammate wins. What we also do is to create the ideal circumstances for the riders. There may be no reason for them to complain about hotels, flights, bikes, food, massage and… nutrition on the bike.
What are the Team KATUSHA ALPECIN goals for the 2019 season?
We race to win. In every race we will start to win, which is impossible of course, but we will try. KATUSHA ALPECIN may not be invisible in the races. Our 2018 season was not so good. All riders realized that things had to change and now already, during the training camps and the first races, we saw a good vibe in the team. And the first victories followed immediately. If we win stages with Marcel Kittel in the Tour de France and if we have Ilnur Zakarin on the overall podium of a Grand Tour, that would be nice. I also hope to see some of our young guys performing in the spring classics.