Astana signs Borut Božič and Kevin Seeldraeyers
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Astana signs Borut Božič and Kevin Seeldraeyers

by Ben Atkins at 3:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Slovenian sprinter and Belgian climber to Kazakh team for two years

borut bozicTeam Astana has announced the signing of Slovenian sprinter Borut Božič and Belgian climber Kevin Seeldraeyers for 2012, both on two-year contracts. Both riders join the Kazakh team after long spells at their current teams.

31-year-old Božič has been with Vacansoleil-DCM since 2009, where he has taken a number of victories in second-tier races like the Tours of Britain, Belgium and Poland, but his biggest victory to date has been stage six of the 2009 Vuelta a España. In June the Slovenian won the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, before going on to ride his first ever Tour de France, where he took four top ten places; he followed the race with third in the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, Germany.

Seeldraeyers joined Quick Step as a neo-pro in 2007, and has remained there ever since. The 25-year-old from Boom, just outside Antwerp has so far been unable to turn his talent into victories but, in 2009 he finished seventh in Paris-Nice and thirteenth in the Giro d’Italia, netting the young riders classification in both. In 2011 Seeldraeyers rode both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, finishing third on the short, but tough stage to San Pelligrino in the former, and challenging the top ten of the latter in the first two weeks.

The announcement of the acquisition of both riders is good news for the team, which is currently the subject of rumours of a merger with Saxo Bank-SunGard. Both could be seen as direct replacements for departing riders, with Seeldraeyers slotting in to the vacancy left by Rémy Di Gregorio’s departure to Cofidis, while Allan Davis’ possible move to GreenEDGE would be more than covered by the arrival of Božič.


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