CCC Team General Manager Jim Ochowicz said Zakarin, who has top ten results to his name at all three Grand Tours, will provide a strong General Classification option for the team at stage races.
“We are delighted to sign Ilnur Zakarin to CCC Team for the coming seasons. Ilnur will provide us with a solid option for the General Classification at stage races and Grand Tours and, as we saw at this year’s Giro d’Italia, Ilnur is capable of making the most of an opportunity to win a stage. Having placed in the top ten at all three Grand Tours, including a podium place at the 2017 Vuelta a España, Ilnur brings a wealth of experience to the team and will be instrumental in the team’s General Classification ambitions,” Ochowicz said.
“Our title sponsor, CCC, has a large presence in Russia so it is exciting for the team and for CCC to sign a Russian rider of Ilnur’s caliber. Our 2020 roster is starting to take shape and with the addition of Ilnur, and some riders still yet to be announced, we are really strengthening the team’s capacity to perform in the mountains.”
Zakarin, 29, is looking forward to the next chapter in his career with CCC Team having spent the last five years with Team Katusha Alpecin.
“This new contract with CCC Team is a new chapter in my life. Regardless of the fact that this season has been very intense, I am very excited and looking forward to the next one. I really want to prove myself and show what I can do. Moreover, I am really happy that CCC Team’s 2020 roster will have strong climbers and we will try to get the highest possible results together. I don’t know what I can say more except I am looking forward to the final part of the season and then joining CCC Team and starting the new season together. It’s exciting to start a new chapter in my career and I think CCC Team will be a great fit for me as a rider,” Zakarin said.
“Five years ago, I got my first professional contract in the world of cycling. I want to thank Viatcheslav Ekimov for giving me a chance to prove myself as a part of Team Katusha Alpecin. The beginning was tough but very important for me as a rider. I learned a lot from Purito, Spilak, Moreno, and Paolini. Later I got my own chances and I did my best to not let the team down. I really want to thank Igor Makarov for all that he is doing for cycling, in general, and for me. When I started thinking about another contract, he was the first person with whom I discussed my idea. I cannot say how much I want to thank all the staff, each member and rider from Katusha, who was a part of my life for those years. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.”
The former Russian time trial champion’s palmarès includes stage wins at the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Paris-Nice, as well as the overall victory at Tour de Romandie in 2015.