Robbie McEwen and his Katusha team will return to Adelaide in January with hopes of success at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under.
Santos Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, believes McEwen is a hot favourite to win stages and contend for the overall Santos Ochre LeadersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Jersey.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“McEwen has won 12 stages at Santos Tour Down Under, more than anyone else in the raceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mike Turtur.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be the Santos Tour Down Under without Robbie. He is fast, competitive and always ready to put on a show in front of a home crowd.Ã¢â‚¬Â
McEwen is a triple winner of the Tour de FranceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s green jersey sprinters classification, has won
12 stages at both the Tour de France and the Santos Tour Down Under and was overall winner of the 2006 and 2009 Cancer Council Helpline Classic.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Robbie is one of the fastest sprinters in the world and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be a contender for the Jayco Sprint Jersey as well as overall honours in January,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mike Turtur.
Kutusha will bring a competitive team to Adelaide for their second appearance at the Santos Tour Down Under.
Alexander Pliuschin, the 2008 National Road Champion for Moldova, will make his riding debut with Katusha after transferring to the Russian team from Ag2r La Mondiale.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is good to have Pliuschin back at our race. He is a rider to watch and has made good progress in the two years since heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been professional,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Mike Turtur.
RussiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Pavel Brutt will join Pliuschin after a strong 2009 season, winning the 2009 Tour de Vendee.
KatushaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s line up for the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under will be led by Team Manager, Dimitri Konychev (RUS) and include Alexander Pliuschin (MDA), Pavel Brutt (RUS), Denis Galimzyanov (RUS), Joan Horrach (SPA), Sergey Klimov (RUS), Robbie McEwen (AUS) and Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL).
Katusha made their UCI ProTour debut at the 2009 Santos Tour Down Under and will officially start their 2010 cycling season in Adelaide. The Katusha team was created in Russia with the aim of promoting cycling at every level.