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“Aru and Kangert are two proven GC riders. Fabio this year was third at the Giro with a Queen Stage victory in the mountains and Tanel has done outstanding work for Nibali over the past two seasons."

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ALEXEY LUTSENKO

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ANDREA GUARDINI

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ASTANA - PREMIER TECH

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JACOPO GUARNIERI

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MIKEL LANDA

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PAOLO TIRALONGO

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TANEL KANGERT

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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18.08.2014 @ 13:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having finished on the podium in the last three grand tours, Astana hope to make it four in a row when they line up at the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday. Tanel Kangert and Fabio Aru will focus on the GC but with the in-form Andrea Guardini, the team will also have the sprints as a rare target.

 

Astana is the only team that has finished on the podium in the three lastest grand tours. In the 2013 Vuelta, Vincenzo Nibali was second and after Fabio Aru too third in the 2014 Giro, Nibali won the Tour.

 

The team is hopeful that they can keep their streak going in the Vuelta which starts on Saturday and again Aru is one of the team leaders. For the first time, the young Italian will do two three-week races in the same season and he will go into the race with a focus on the overall standing.

 

He will share the leadership with Tanel Kangert who is known as Nibali's trusted domestique. The Estonian finished in the top 15 in both the 2013 Giro and Vuelta while working for his leader and will now get his first ever chance to ride for himself in a grand tour.

 

The team will have a rare focus on the sprints as Andrea Guardini will line up on the back of successful week that saw him claim two stage victories in the Tour of Denmark and one win in the Eneco Tour. He will rely on support from Jacopo Guarnieri and former U23 world champion Alexey Lutsenko.

 

Mikel Landa will target a stage win in the mountains after he came close to winning the Vuelta a Burgos queen stage last Friday while Paolo Tiralongo will provide crucial experience in the mountains. The team is completed by trusted domestique Andrey Zeits and newly crowned Kazakh champion Daniil Fominykh who will make his grand tour debut.

 

“Aru and Kangert are two proven GC riders," sports director Dmitriy Sedoun said. "Fabio this year was third at the Giro with a Queen Stage victory in the mountains and Tanel has done outstanding work for Nibali over the past two seasons."

 

“Guardini, Guarnieri and Lutsenko have the beginnings of a very fast and very strong sprint team. In Denmark Alexey and Andrea were victorious partners, and with Jacopo we have the legs to be at the front in a Grand Tour finish."

 

“Landa is super motivated for a good result. After a great climb on stage 3 at the Vuelta a Burgos, despite a heavy crash at the beginning of the day, he showed what a promising young Spanish rider is capable of at home.

 

“Fominykh has shown in the past season that he can race on different courses in different conditions. This Vuelta will be his first test at three weeks of competition, and he has all of the requisites and characteristics to succeed."

 

“Tiralongo and Zeits are the veteran legs and brains on the road. Their experience is invaluable and their leadership is 100 percent guaranteed."

 

Astana for the Vuelta:

Fabio Aru

Tanel Kangert

Mikel Landa

Paolo Tiralongo

Andrey Zeits

Daniil Fominykh

Andrea Guardini

Jacopo Guarnieri

Alexey Lutsenko

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