The Astana Pro Team presented its new cycling team Feb. 1 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the off-season, the management of the Kazakh project did a solid job in the transfer market, signing nine new contracts.
“This year marks the tenth season already for the team. You might ask why we are holding our presentation in Dubai. Because in Europe, I believe we have already raised the image of our team and our country quite high. And with this presentation I would like our team to start winning in the Arabian Peninsula, which will also host not only the Dubai Tour but also the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman,” said general manager Alexander Vinokourov.
Vinokourov, the 2012 London Olympics gold medallist, said that Astana has done a lot of work on transfers to find helpers for cyclist Fabio Aru, who will have major challenges at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.
“We have serious expectations for Aru. He began his professional career on our team and we work with him pretty well, but in 2015 he has serious challenges,” said Vinokourov. He also noted that another challenge for Astana will be to hold onto the winner’s yellow jersey at the Tour de France, during which Vincenzo Nibali. Astana team captain, will again take part in the Great Loop.
“Preparations for the new season are going according to plan. I trained with a personal trainer, as well as with the whole team. Now I’m ready to start in the Tour of Dubai;for me it is important to start the season well. And my next race will be the Tour of Oman,” said the Italian champion.
The Astana team invited well-known Eurosport commentator Sergei Kurdyukov as presenter of this year’s lineup And several hundred people from Kazakhstan living in Dubai attended the ceremonial event. For the new season the team has changed the design of sports equipment a bit, but the bike manufacturer has remained the same.