In May, Saturday 5th, [W:Katusha Team] will take part to the first of the three world cycling Grand Tours: [W:Giro d’Italia], a stage race competition at its 95th edition. The Russian team will take part to one of the top events of the season with [W:Joaquim Rodriguez] as a leader: in this 2012 the Spanish rider has already won one stage in “[W:Tirreno-Adriatico]”, two stages in “[W:Vuelta al Pais Vasco]” and, most of all, took his first victory in a classic race, “[W:Fleche Wallonne]”, performance that took him until the 3rd position in UCI World Tour Ranking. Last year, in a very hard edition characterized by the tragedy of [W:Wouter Weylandt], ‘Purito’ ended 4th in general classification, 4’55” far from the winner [W:Michele Scarponi] and just 1’01” far from the podium. Moreover, he went very close to the stage win, entering the podium twice in Castelfidardo and Sestriere; while Angel Vicioso, a newcomer in 2012 for Katusha Team which will take place to this edition too, managed to win in Rapallo. Giro d’Italia 2012 will start in Herning, and will stay in Denmark for the first three days before coming back to Italy for the ITT of Verona, scheduled on May, 9th. “It will be quite an interesting Giro – said Valerio Piva, head of Sport Directors – it will be less hard than last year: still, there will be several mountain stages that will be crucial for general classification. Most of them are concentrated in the last, very difficult week, with tough finishing lines in Cervinia, Pian dei Resinelli, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Pampeago and Passo dello Stelvio: riders will face these crucial stages after two weeks, so only the ones who will be in a very good shape and will keep some energies will have some chances to take the pink jersey. Anyways, Katusha Team will take part to this competition in order to be a protagonist and not an appearance: we have a strong team, as we proved to be during this first part of the season. Of course our ambition is the general classification with Rodriguez, as the profile of the routes are suitable to his characteristics and he did a good job last year too, but we have also riders which can win single stages: we think we can do a very good Giro, and we will try to reach the final ITT in Milan on May 27th with a jersey”. So, here’s the complete roster of Katusha Team for the Pink Race: Pavel Brutt, Mikhail Ignatyev, Alexander Kristoff, Aliaksandr Kuchynski, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez, Gatis Smukulis, Angel Vicioso. Sport Directors: Valerio Piva, Claudio Cozzi, Michael Rich.