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.Itera-katusha 2012 pic.twitter.com/2Ll6fkBi— Maxim Razumov (@razumov1201) January 5, 2013
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 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)
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.