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Nibali will be backed by Fuglsang, Scarponi and Kangert who all finished in the top 11 of a grand tour in 2013

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ALESSANDRO VANOTTI

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ANDRIY GRIVKO

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ASTANA - PREMIER TECH

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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LIEUWE WESTRA

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MAXIM IGLINSKIY

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MICHELE SCARPONI

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TANEL KANGERT

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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VINCENZO NIBALI

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30.06.2014 @ 17:08 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

According to Spaziociclismo, Astana has finalized its roster for the Tour de France and 2013 Giro champion Vincenzo Nibali will be backed by a formidable team. Michele Scarponi, Jakob Fuglsang and Tanel Kangert all finished in the top 11 in grand tours in 2013 and the Italian can also count on the in-form Lieuwe Westra who won a big mountain stage in the Dauphiné.

 

Vincenzo Nibali has not had the season he had hope for but all year the plan has been to hit peak condition for the Tour de France. The big race starts in less than a week and now the Astana management has made up its mind regarding the riders that will be riding in support of the Italian leader.

 

Even though the team hasn't made an official announcement yet, Spaziociclismo reports that the team has been finalized and it shapes up to be a formidable one. Nibali himself showed good condition last Saturday when he won the Italian road race title and he will be backed by three riders who all finished in top 11 of one of the 2013 grand tours.

 

Michele Scarponi crashed out of the Giro d'Italia where he was targeting a top result but has always been set to be the key lieutenant for Nibali in the Tour as well. He played an instrumental role for Nibali in last Saturday's race and will provide years of experience in riding grand tours for the overall win.

 

Jakob Fuglsang lines up in the race on the back of his 7th place in last year's edition. This year, however, he will play a domestique role and proved to be in good condition with a solid performance in the Dauphiné where he finished in the top 10.

 

Last year Tanel Kangert was Nibali's closest ally in both the Giro and the Vuelta and in both races he managed to finish in the top 14 despite working for his captain. He is now set to make his Tour debut and will be the third strong climbing asset in Nibali's arsenal.

 

Lieuwe Westra has finally found back to the level he had in 2012 and was an unstoppable force in the recent Criterium du Dauphiné where he won the queen stage and finished second one day earlier. The Dutchman is both a great climber and a strong rouleur whose versatility will be valuable for Nibali.

 

Andriy Grivko's allround capabilities will provide Nibali with support in most terrains while Alessandro Vanotti will play his usual role as the rider that protects Nibali in the flat stages. The team is completed by its Kazakh part which is made up of 2012 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Maxim Iglinsky and strong rouleur Dmitriy Gruzdev.

 

Astana for the Tour de France:

Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi, Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert, Lieuwe Westra, Maxim Iglinskiy, Alessandro Vanotti, Andriy Grivko and Dmitriy Gruzdev

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