Estonian road cyclist Rein Taaramäe has signed for Russian pro team Katusha.
Rumors that Taaramäe's one-year contract with Kazakh team Astana will not be renewed were confirmed at a press conference in Tartu this morning. Taaramäe announced that the next season will see him put on the red and white jersey of Team Katusha instead, joining the likes of Alexander Kristoff, Joaquim Rodriguez, and Russia's own Ilnur Zakarin.
"What convinced me the most to make the move was the fact that the team directors and the team manager really believe in me," Taaramäe said. "I will be able to obtain more results than I have so far. They have convinced me that I can still improve. These past years I have had so much bad luck in my career with mononucleosis, fractures and other health issues. Now I am back. I feel that I can start my second career."
Katusha's general manager Viacheslav Ekimov said Taaramäe is exactly the type of rider the managers, in their efforts to strengthen the team for the stage races, were looking for. "Rein has finished 11th in the Tour de France and that means a lot."
Taaramäe is known for his good climbing ability and time trialing skills, having recently won overall classification of the Vuelta a Burgos and the Arctic Race of Norway for his soon-to-be former employer Astana. Taaramäe also has a Vuelta d'Espagna stage win from 2011, two national road titles, three national time trial titles and the overall classification victory at the Tour de l'Ain to his name.
Editor: M. Oll