Russian Alexander Kolobnev has signed a contract that will tie him to Gazprom-RusVelo. Kolobnev, 35 years on April 4, is one of the most famous and appreciated riders in Russia. He has a respectable palmares, with a bronze medal at Olympic Games 2008, two silver medals at World Championships (2007 and 2009), numerous prestigious placings at classic races such as Strade Bianche, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Giro di Lombardia, but also two titles of russian road champion.
Renat Khamidulin, general manager of Gazprom-RusVelo, is pleased with the new acquisition.
"The arrival of a rider at this level will help the team to grow up and to achieve significant seasonal targets," he explained. "Alexander needs no introduction, everyone knows its value and I am sure that it is the ideal man to grow up our guys in the best way. Alexander is a tenacious rider, he has a strong personality and he’s able to interpret the races like few can do. In recent years has faced many battles in the professional cycling and he will certainly be the leader we needed."
Alexander Kolobnev did not hide his happiness.
"It was certainly a nice surprise. Thanks to the fans I found a great charge and the right motivation to remain in group. Renat has seen in me the qualities to be shared with the team, which is very young but composed of guys with absolute value. I'm excited and I feel like I had signed my first professional contract. I’d like to thank Renat for his confidence and I hope to be able to repay him and all the sponsors of the trust they have placed in me."
Kolobnev took a break from racing last spring after crashing at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
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