June 21, 2016 – Russia’s Ilnur Zakarin is to make his Tour de France debut next month, his Katusha team said on Tuesday. Zakarin, who served a doping suspension from 2009-2011 after testing positive for a banned steroid, made a stunning breakthrough last year by winning the prestigious Tour de Romandie, beating Chris Froome amongst a stellar field.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

The 26-year-old has not raced since breaking his shoulder in a crash during May’s Giro d’Italia. He was lying fifth overall at the time with only three stages left. Russians Katusha will also have former Tour stage winners Alexander Kristoff of Norway and Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez in their ranks for the Grand Boucle, which begins on July 2.

Katusha team for July’s Tour de France: Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA), Marco Haller (AUT), Alexander Kristoff (NOR), Alberto Losada (ESP), Michael Morkov (DEN), Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP), Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL), Angel Vicioso (ESP), Ilnur Zakarin (RUS)