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"I would like to have the in the team but for the moment nothing is signed. During the Vuelta, we will try to sign Landa, but for now, nothing has been decided. Regarding Nieve, I like him even more than Landa but for now, we think tha...

Photo: Sirotti








27.08.2013 @ 13:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Astana hopes to strengthen its support of team captain Vincenzo Nibali for next season and has now set its sights on the many Euskaltel riders who are left without a contract for next season. Climbers Mikel Landa and Mikel Nieve may both join the Kazakh team for next season while Janez Brajkovic may stay with the team despite the recent speculation over his future.


Astana has lined up a fantastic team for this year's Vuelta a Espana but as Vincenzo Nibali has set his sights on the Tour de France next year, the team thinks that more is needed. Hence, they are exploring the opportunities to strengthens its roster of climbers and Mikel Landa and Mikel Nieve have both drawn attention.


The Basque climbers are left without a contract for next season due to the demise of their Euskaltel team. While Landa has long been regarded as a huge talent but failed to live up to expectations, Nieve is an established grand tour star who has won queen stages in both the Giro and the Vuelta and finished in the top 10 in both three-week races.


Both are currently racing the Vuelta and the team hopes to reach an agreement during the Spanish race.


"I would like to have the in the team but for the moment nothing is signed," manager Giuseppe Martinelli tells BiciCiclismo. "We are still in touch, but there are other options. During the Vuelta, we will try to sign Landa, but for now, nothing has been decided. Regarding Nieve, I like him even more than Landa but for now, we think that his contract is a bit expensive."


Another strong climber may stay with the team. When Janez Brajkovic took the red jersey on the opening team time trial of the Vuelta, he revealed that he had no contract for next season as his team had no intentions of keeping him. The Kazakhs may now have changed his mind as Martinelli discloses that he would like to keep the Slovenian on the roster.


"Personally, I wish he continues with us and I think it is quite possible," Martinelli said.



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