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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Cycling Team Set

Russia has launched its first professional cycling team.

Top Latvian rider Pyotr Ugrumov and former world champion Maurizio Fondriest of Italy will lead the Roslotto-ZG Mobili squad that was announced Thursday. Seven Russians and nine Italians fill the bulk of the places on the team, which was presented at the Krylatskoye velodrome in northern Moscow.

Team manager Moreno Argentin said two Roslotto squads would compete in this year's World Cup ahead of a combined assault on the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, the world's premier cycling event.

The Venice-based team will make its debut in Spain's Ruta del Sol later this month.

Fondriest's priority will be the World Cup, French signing Pascal Lino heads the challenge for the Italian title and Ugrumov goes for the Tour de France, an event he missed through injury last year.

Lino, well aware of the present lack of openings on French teams, said he jumped at the chance of joining the new outfit, to be sponsored in part by the Russian state lottery in a three-year, $5 million deal.