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Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru took centre stage at the Astana presentation in Kazakhstan

Photo: Sirotti


14.12.2015 @ 19:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Astana Pro Team 2016 season has opened last Saturday at the Velodrome in Astana with the official presentation of the team. An important day that also wanted to celebrate the ten years of the Kazakh team at the top of international cycling.


After winning the Vuelta in 2015 and honorable placings obtained in France and Italy, the team will aim to repeat, if not improve, the results obtained in the last season. The two captains, Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru, will be among the leaders for the final victory in the big stage races - the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana - supported by a first-class team that is able to be leaders in every terrain.


2016 is also the year of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where the Astana Pro Team athlete, Alexey Lutsenko, will be the captain of the Kazakh team with the stated aim of winning Olympic gold, four years after the triumph of Alexander Vinokourov at the London Olympics.


The team will have great focus on the Monument Classics in which the team will rely on specialists like Lars Boom and Jakob Fuglsang, as well as Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali, the latter winner of the Tour of Lombardy last October.


The big news is the new main entrance of Expo 2017 as the new sponsor of the Astana Pro Team. In this regard, general manager of Team Alexandr Vinokourov said: "It 'a special day for us. We are proud to represent our country and to be ambassadors of this important event that will attract thousands of visitors in Astana and which will bring together the world's attention on our capital."


The logo of the exhibition, dedicated to the energy sources of the future, will be on the official race kit of the athletes and on all the vehicles of the team.


Two new arrivals will join the team: Latvian Gatis Smukulis, passista and specialist in time trials, will have the task of helping the captains in the big classics in Northern Europe and to do well in the short stage races; Italian Eros Capecchi is an experienced rider that should shine in the stage and one-day races.


As for the management, the team has chosen for a generational changem naming Dmitriy Fofonov new team manager in place of Giuseppe Martinelli. The experienced Italian sports director will thus have to focus more on the competitive action.















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