In this episode of The Cycling Podcast Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss the stories thrown up by the early season stage races before focusing on Katusha-Alpecin’s attempts to recover from a poor season in 2018.

The Swiss team with the Russian origins had a torrid year, collecting just five wins. Marcel Kittel, their expensive marquee signing from Quick Step, failed to reproduce his winning form. The German sprinter managed only two victories all season, both at Tirreno-Adriatico in March. Kittel is already off the mark this season, having won the Trofeo Palma in Majorca.

We hear from Katusha-Alpecin’s sports director José Azevedo about how the team hopes to improve dramatically and from their riders Ian Boswell and Harry Tanfield, who turned professional for them this season.

The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Science in Sport

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Rapha have begun to unveil additions to their 2019 range, including their Explore shoes, which are perfect for bikepacking, and a range designed by the legendary Paul Smith. Rapha.cc

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We are delighted to welcome our episode sponsors this week – Laka. Laka is a smarter way of insuring your bikes and gear. It’s a community of cyclists joining together to play fair and take good care to save each other money. Go to Laka.co.uk to find out more.

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