Team Katusha-Alpecin Season Review
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
The team's season was highlighted by a big amount of race days, a lack of wins and a general lack of performances. The cobbles are perhaps where there was the most consistency, Top20 placings in the opening weekend, then Nils Pollit shone in the main classics with sixth in E3, fifth in Flandres and a highlight runner-up place in Paris-Roubaix. That's where the team stood apart and looked good, in the others the results didn't come.
Despite Kittel winning early on in Mallorca a race, he didn't repeat that result, it didn't start off badly as Jens Debusschere finished fifth in the Great Ocean Road Race there was Top20 place in Milano Sanremo, a ninth in Frankfurt and that was pretty much it for the spring classics.
Here maybe it was expected to have had some better results, Ruben Guerreiro finished eightth in Down Under early on in the year, there were some solid results, perhaps Zakarin's tenth place in Paris-Nice was the highlight of the early months, there was nothing to show for until Yorkshire where Rick Zabel took what was only the second win of the season, there was a slight period of better results with Zakarin and Spilak finishing in the Top10 in Romandie and then Spilak finished sixth in California and then repeated it once again in Suisse.
There was a third in ZLM Tour by Wurtz and nothing more, hovering the Top15 in Pologne and BinckBank was what showcased that period.
In the Giro there was a brief moment of spark as Zakarin took what was the team's sole WT win of the year, in what was actually a brilliant win in Lago Serru, that seemed to be looking to set him up for the GC, he wasn't consistent throughout the race but manage to hold his Top10 place.
As for the Tour, nothing really to note as Zakarin rode but failed to be close to a win and never within the GC fight, and in the Vuelta there was a great performance by Ruben Guerreiro who finished seventeenth overall, he lost his GC stint in the crosswinds but had a consistent and strong race throughout the three weeks including almost grabbing a stage win.
Unfortunately that was it for the season essentially, the last wins came in the National Championships in June, and from August on there were no Top10's in the one-day races, and the only GC was Pollit finishing fifth in Britain.
Wins (WT): 5 (1)
Highlight: Zakarin's win in the Giro
Best Performer: Nils Pollit
Biggest Surprise: Ruben Guerreiro
Negative Surprise: José Gonçalves