Vinokourov hails Nibali’s move to Astana team; Vanotti also confirmed
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Friday, August 03, 2012

Vinokourov hails Nibali’s move to Astana team; Vanotti also confirmed

by VeloNation Press at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“This is an exciting time for Pro Team Astana"

Vincenzo NibaliOfficially acknowledging earlier indications that Vincenzo Nibali will race for the team from 2013, the team’s current top rider Alexandr Vinokourov has said that the signing will be of major importance for the future of the Astana squad.

Third in this year’s Tour and winner of the 2010 Vuelta a España, Nibali will take over at the helm of the team after Vinokourov retires this year. He will be joined by current Liquigas-Cannondale team-mate Alessandro Vanotti in what is a two year contract.

“The arrival of Vincenzo and Alessandro will strengthen our line-up for 2013 and 2014 considerably,” said Vinokourov, confirming the news leaked earlier this week by the vice president of the Kazakh Cycling Federation, Allen Chayzhunusov.

“We have worked hard to be in a position to sign these two great riders and now that the contract has been signed, we are delighted to present them to the world. This is an exciting time for Pro Team Astana. Building from our successes this year across a range of events including; the Tour de France and the Olympics, we are working forward to ensure we are competitive for the 2013 and 2014 season.”

He said that the signing of the duo put the team on course to succeed in those goals.

Vinokourov has been an important part of the team, both in terms of its origin – the team was set up around him in 2006, the year he won the Vuelta a España – and after he returned from a two year ban in 2009. Although he won the Olympic road race last Saturday, he’s sticking with his decision to stop racing this year.

Likely to continue in a management role, his absence from the racing squad will represent a major change. However general manager Giuseppe Martinelli believes the new signings will boost the momentum of the project.

“Being able to attract talent of the calibre of Vincenzo Nibali and Alessandro Vanotti shows a real statement of intent for 2013 and 2014,’ the Italian said. “Their arrival next season will strengthen our team, their talents complement our current stable of riders and I am sure fans of cycling will be as excited as we are about them joining the team.”

Today’s announcement does not mention signing their team-mate Valerio Agnoli. He was long rumoured as being part of the move, and was confirmed by Chayzhunusov this week. Unless there has been a crossing of wires or a last-minute change of plans, it is likely his signature will be confirmed at a later point.
 

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