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by Mark Zalewski
July 27, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Teuns wins Tour de Wallonie as BMC takes third stage win; Q&A with Jonathan Vaughters: Cannondale-Drapac ‘pulled off something incredible’ at Tour de France; Katusha-Alpecin extends with Kochetkov, Belkov; Cretti’s condition slowly improves following crash; Sky set to sign Baby Giro winner Sivakov; Movistar announces Vuelta shortlist; Canberra plans to celebrate Matthews’ green jersey victory; Petition circulating to ban cyclists from highways following cyclist death; Sagan shaves head; British man taking elderly for bike rides; Froome helps fan propose marriage; Video: The Ride; Video: La Thuile Superenduro.
Katusha-Alpecin has signed contract extensions with Russians Pavel Kochetkov and Maxim Belkov. Kochetkov adds two years to run through 2019 and Belkov extends his contract through 2018.
Belkov winning stage 9 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Belkov, 32, is now in his sixth season with the team and has a strong list of successes, including stage 9 in the 2013 Giro d’ Italia and second in the Russian Time Trial championships this year. He also earned the mountains classifications in 2015 for both the Tour de Romandie and Tour of Austria.
“Maxim is an important building block for us because of his vast experience, but also his class as a rider. This year he displayed this again at the Giro, where he was an important supporter for his captain Zakarin,” said general manager José Azevedo.
31-year-old Kochetkov is currently in his sixth season with the team as a strong support rider, but he also won the Russian road championships last year. In addition he has stage wins in both the Tour des Pays de Savoie and Tour of Bulgaria in 2011. He has also worn the KOM jersey in the Giro d’Italia back in 2015 and won the green sprint jersey in the 2012 Czech Cycling Tour.
“Pavel has been a bit unhappy this season with injuries from crashes. Despite this, he is an important rider in the teams built for Ilnur Zakarin and he will be particularly important in a future Grand Tour,” said Azevedo.