For Ilnur Zakarin and Team KATUSHA, third place overall at La Vuelta a España was more than just the attainment of a goal for a podium finish. It was confirmation the young Russian is developing into a first-class stage racer.
“We started this Vuelta with the goal of fighting for the GC. Now Ilnur has earned this result and we are happy and proud. He came onto the team 3 years ago and we worked with a plan, always aiming toward him being our leader, especially after the retirement of Joaquim Rodríguez,” team general manager José Azevedo said in a team release. "The proof of our belief in him is at the beginning of the Giro d’Italia in May when we signed a 2-year contract extension with him. We did not need to wait to see the results of his season – we already had the confidence in him for wins in the big tours.”
Zakarin said: “It is still hard to believe. This is a miracle… This is my first grand tour podium so all of this is new to me. But I am starting to be comfortable standing along side many of the great riders in cycling.”
Zakarin and KATUSHA ride SRAM RED eTap, Zipp wheels, and Quarq power meters. Congrats to Ilnur and the team.
Top © Tim De Waele, lower photo © BrakeThrough Media