Team Astana for 2010 presented
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Team Astana presented

by Bjorn Haake at 4:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The Astana team had its official presentation today. Most of the focus was on team leader Alberto Contador, who is the team's man to win the biggest race in 2010, the Tour de France. Alexander Vinokourov is also getting some attention for his desire to race again.

Contador knows that winning the Tour is hard, but he downplays the rivalry with Lance Armstrong. "Of course Lance Armstrong is one of my rivals, but I think there is a group of eight to ten riders who want to win the Tour. Lance is not my only concern," he said at the presentation according to De Telegraaf.

In fact, like last year, he picked his main rival as being Andy Schleck, who finished second in the 2009 Tour. "If I have to name someone who can bring me into trouble in the mountains, it is Andy Schleck," he said according to Marca.

Almost half of the 27 racers are from Kazakhstan. One of them is Vinokourov, who returned to the sport in the later part of the last season, after having to sit out his doping suspension. "For myself and for the team it is really important to have a lot of Kazakh riders," Vinokourov said according to Sporza. "I am proud to be part of the team again. Our main goal is to win the Tour and together with Contador we want to form the best team in the world. With his talent and with his experience this should be possible."

Seven Spaniards make up the largest group of foreigners in the team. One of them is Oscar Pereiro, Tour winner of 2006. But, at the eve of his career, he will only be there as a domestique, a role he played well at Caisse d'Epargne. "This team is made up of Alberto and the rest. If Alberto is going well, then everybody has to work for him," Pereiro said.

While Contador sees himself as only one of many favorites, Pereiro has a different opinion. "The 2010 Tour is the one for Alberto. He is the best racer in the world, for the rest of the team this is a motivation. The fight between Contador and Armstrong is good for bike racing, but Alberto is just a little better than Lance," Pereiro said.

Astana's manager is now Frenchman Yvon Sanquer, while the directeur sportif is the Italian Giuseppe Martinelli.

Astana Team 2010:

Assan Bazayev (Kaz)
Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa)
Allan Davis (Aus)
Scott Davis (Aus)
David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa)
Valeriy Dmitriyev (Kaz)
Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz)
Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz)
Enrico Gasparotto (Ita)
Maxim Gourov (Kaz)
Andriy Grivko (Ukr)
Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa)
Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)
Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz)
Josep Jufre Pou (Spa)
Roman Kireyev (Kaz)
Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa)
Yevgeni Nepomnyachsniy (Kaz)
Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa)
Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa)
Bolat Raimbekov (Kaz)
Sergey Renev (Kaz)
Mirko Selvaggi (Ita)
Gorazd Stangelj (Slo)
Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)
Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz)
Andrey Zeits (Kaz)


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