Astana’s 2011 lineup finalised, will get together in Italy at the end of November
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Astana’s 2011 lineup finalised, will get together in Italy at the end of November

by Shane Stokes at 10:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Vinokourov to lead team, Kreuziger and Kiserlovski amongst additions

AstanaThe 27 riders who will compete for the Astana team in 2011 will begin their first training camp on the 29th of this month at Montecatini Terme, Italy, getting together to plan towards what they hope will be a very successful 2011 season.

A total of ten new signings have been made, with one of the most notable being the GC rider Roman Kreuziger. He and his team-mate Robert Kiserlovski are coming from Liquigas, and should add considerable firepower in hilly races.

The others are from eight different teams, being Simon Clarke (ISD Neri), Rémy Di Gregorio (FdJ), Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre), Francesco Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone), Tanel Kangert (CC Villeneuve Saint-Germain), Fredrik Kessiakoff (Garmin-Transitions), Evgeni Petrov (Katuscha) and Tomas Vaitkus, who moved to RadioShack last year, but is now back with Astana.

Of course, the biggest change to the team is of course the departure of Alberto Contador, who along with loyal domestiques Jesus Hernandez, Daniel Navarro and Benjamin Noval, is heading to Team Saxo Bank. Contador is yet to find out if he will be able to race next season, with an ongoing enquiry taking place into his Clenbuterol positive. Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil) and David de la Fuente (Geox - TMC) are also going elsewhere, whilst the 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro has retired.

The ten incoming riders will meet up with the seventeen who remain from the current lineup. Top gun is clearly Alexandre Vinokourov, who will be the leader of the team in 2011 and who has said – while accepting the difficulty of the task – that he wants to try once more to win the Tour. That may seem very unlikely, but he wants to try one more time before retiring from the sport.

Ten others from Kazakhstan remain on board and will give him full backing, namely Assan Bazayev, Alexander Dyachenko, Dmitriy Fofonov, Maxim Gourov, Maxim Iglinskiy, Valentin Iglinskiy, Roman Kireyev, Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy, Sergey Renev and Andrey Zeit. The Italians Enrico Gasparotto and Paolo Tiralongo are back again, as are Allan Davis (Australia), who was third in the world road race championships and who has pledged to be in top shape at the start of next season. Andriy Grivko (Ukraine), Joseph Jufre (Spain), and Gorazd Stangelj (Slovenia) complete the lineup, and should all ride strongly.

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