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Miguel Angel Lopez is set to return to Astana Qazaqstan Team for two seasons – Astana

Miguel Angel Lopez is set to return to Astana Qazaqstan Team for two seasons

The long-term leader of the Kazakh team Miguel Angel Lopez makes his return to Astana Qazaqstan Team. The 27-year-old Colombian rider has signed a new two-year agreement with the team for 2022 and 2023.

“Coming back to the Astana team is a return home. In the world of professional cycling, a rider who wants to keep on moving forward sometimes has to change something in his career, to gain new experience. Sometimes it is a good one, sometimes not. The main thing is that I am coming home to my team, the team that gave me so much and with which, I am sure, we will be able to live many more wonderful moments. There is a lot of work ahead for the new season to be successful for me and for Astana Qazaqstan Team”, – said Miguel Angel Lopez.

Miguel Angel Lopez spent six seasons in the Astana project from 2015 to 2020, where he achieved most of his biggest results, including GC victories at Tour de Suisse (2016), Volta a Catalunya (2019), Tour of Colombia (2019), stage triumphs at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España as well as at the oldest classic race Milano-Torino. Together with Team Astana, Lopez reached the final podium of two Grand Tours in 2018, securing third place at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

The Colombian rider moved on for the 2021 season, during which time he also tasted some important successes with victory at the Vuelta a Andalucia, the one-day race Mont Ventoux Challenge, and the queen stage of La Vuelta.

“Miguel Angel Lopez is a rider who grew up and achieved his greatest successes in our team, and therefore I am happy that after a short break he is making his return to Astana Team. Over the past year, Miguel Angel has gained serious experience, which, perhaps, he lacked in our team. I think that this experience, both good and not so good, will help him to continue his development. Lopez proved that he is still one of the strongest riders in the world, continuing to win at the highest level, so it is great that Miguel Angel will continue his career in Astana Qazaqstan Team”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Sebastian Henao and Leonardo Basso sign with Astana Qazaqstan Team – Astana

Sebastian Henao and Leonardo Basso sign with Astana Qazaqstan Team

Colombian rider Sebastian Henao (28) and Italian rider Leonardo Basso (27) will join Astana Qazaqstan Team in the upcoming season with Henao signing one-year contract (2022) and Basso signing a two-year deal (2022 and 2023).

Sebastian Henao turned pro in 2014 after a set of notable results in the Colombia racing circuit. In eight years as a professional rider, Henao has proved himself as a strong and loyal team player with a lot of Grand Tour experience, especially at the Giro d’Italia with five participations to his name.

Third place at Le Tour de Langkawi (2015), fifth place in the overall standings of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (2016), sixth place at the Arctic Race of Norway (2016) and eighth place in the General Classification of the Vuelta a Burgos (2018) and Volta ao Algarve (2021) can be named among his best results.

“Honestly, I am really excited to come to Astana. This is a new step for me, a change which I am really looking for to keep on improving as a professional rider. I would like to thank Alexandr Vinokurov for a chance to become a rider of team Astana. I am looking forward to join the team, to see my new teammates, to wear the new jersey, to ride the new bike. I think Astana is the team which can suit me perfectly and I will try to do my all to reach the best possible results together”, – said Sebastian Henao.

Leonardo Basso turned professional in 2018, choosing classic and one-day races as his main specialization. In the past four years, Basso has ridden 60 one-day races with fifth place at Coppa Bernocchi, seventh at Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli, and ninth at Trofeo Palma and Trofeo Campos amongst his career highlights.

“I am really happy to ride for Astana Qazaqstan Team from the next season. This is one of the biggest and oldest teams in the WorldTour and there were many champions who were competing in the jersey of Astana during its long and great history. So, it is a pleasure for me to join this team for the next two years. I am grateful to Alexandr Vinokurov for trusting in me and I hope to repay this trust on the road with my work and dedication. I will give my best to help the team to reach its biggest goals. I am ready to help the leaders to win as much as possible in the upcoming season”, – said Leonardo Basso.

 

“We are looking for reinforcement in our team both for the Grand Tours and classics, and I think that these two riders can suit us in the best way. We know Sebastian Henao as a good helper, very experienced in the Grand Tours and stage races, so he can play an important role for our leaders. Also, Leonardo Basso in just a few years has gained some good experience in the Northern Classics, while we are going to work on improvement in this direction. I would like to welcome Sebastian and Leonardo to Astana Qazaqstan Team and I am looking forward to start working with them ahead of the new season”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich renew with Astana Qazaqstan Team – Astana

Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich renew with Astana Qazaqstan Team

Two Kazakh riders Yuriy Natarov and Yevgeniy Gidich have signed a new two-year agreement with Team Astana (Astana Qazaqstan Team from 2022) for the next two seasons of 2022 and 2023.

Yuriy Natarov joined Kazakh team in 2019, when he took his first and so far only professional victory, winning the General Classification of the Tour of Almaty. In 2021, Yuriy finished his first Grand Tour and won a bronze medal in the individual time trial of the Kazakhstan National Championships.

“The new contract with the team gives me great motivation and a desire for further growth and progress. This season I managed to make my debut in a Grand Tour, at La Vuelta, and this experience turned out to be very valuable and perfectly timed for me. Participation in the Vuelta a España inspired me, so I am sure that in the next two seasons in Astana Qazaqstan Team I will be able to make a serious step ahead. There is a huge amount of work to be done, but I am ready for it”, – said Yuriy Natarov.

Yevgeniy Gidich moved to the Astana project in 2018 and during his first three seasons, Gidich scored a set of valuable results: he was third in the General Classification of Tour of Croatia in 2018, taking a stage win in the following year, he won the road race of the Asian Road Championships-2019, was seventh at Coppa Bernocchi in 2019, and finished third at a stage of Saudi Tour in 2020.

Yevgeniy’s best result in the current season was second place in the Kazakhstan National Championships road race.

“This last season has turned out to be far from what I expected. However, this year I have become stronger and more experienced, so I am optimistic about the new season in Astana Qazaqstan Team. I am determined to do everything possible to reach the level that will allow me to take an important step forward in my career. I am grateful to the team for their trust, and I will make every effort to justify it”, – said Yevgeniy Gidich.

 

“In these past years in the WorldTour, the riders gained good experience and learned a lot. Not everything always went smoothly and the situation with the pandemic also intervened, but we still recognize the progress of both Yuriy and Yevgeniy. Both riders have reached the age when experience and solid work should turn into a result. We hope that a new two-year contract will give them the chance to move ahead. I am happy that the guys remain in the team, where they will have all the conditions to achieve success, both for the team and personally”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Astana – Premier Tech becomes Astana Qazaqstan Team in 2022 – Astana

Astana – Premier Tech becomes Astana Qazaqstan Team in 2022

The UCI WorldTour team Astana – Premier Tech is set to get a new name in 2022. The Kazakh cycling project will step into the upcoming season as Astana Qazaqstan Team.

Qazaqstan is the most accurate and correct name of Kazakhstan in its English transcription. Qazaqstan is a kind of new brand of the state on the international stage, which is combining centuries-old traditions, language, culture and strategy of the country’s development in the today’s world.

“Starting from 2022 our cycling team will go on under the new name Astana Qazaqstan Team, a name which is very important to our country. The name of our state will appear on the cyclists’ jerseys and in the new team logo, and it will become a kind of sign of the continuation of traditions and, at the same time, a moment of change and renewal for the sake of two important goals: promotion of the image of our country all around the world and development of domestic cycling. The project is getting a second wind and is preparing for a new turn in its development. I would like to express my special gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan as well as to the Professional Sports Club Astana, which actively support the team. I am happy with the fact that Kazakhstan Cycling Federation is going to play an important role in the development of the renewed team and the implementation of ambitious plans, which will be announced in the nearest future. Also, I am happy that our federation will be presented both in the Board of Directors and in the management of Astana Qazaqstan Team. We envisage strengthening the team’s work with the federation in the transfer of professional skills to domestic athletes and specialists as well as deeper participation of Astana Qazaqstan Team in the life of Kazakhstan cycling”, – said Nurlan Smagulov, President of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.

 

“I am happy that our team will continue its development under the new Astana Qazaqstan Team brand, and it is an honor for me to return to the leadership of this team as a General Manager. For the past 16 years the Astana Cycling Project has been the hallmark of our country in the world of sports, and I would like to thank the leadership of Kazakhstan for many years of support and trust. Astana Qazaqstan Team is not just a new team name, it is an updated project philosophy emphasizing closer integration of our sports brand and promotion of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a major international partner. In the current period, preparations for the new season and the registration of the team in the top division are in full swing. Beside this we are working on an additional project, which we will announce soon”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com