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Vincenzo Nibali returns to Team Astana – Astana

Vincenzo Nibali returns to Team Astana

Vincenzo Nibali will return to Astana, the team he rode for from 2013 to 2016 and where he achieved most of his career highlights, including two triumphs at the Giro d’Italia (in 2013 and 2016) and the Tour de France (in 2014).

The 36-year-old Italian rider is set to reunite with Team Astana in 2022 in what will be a homecoming for the decorated Grand Tour winner.

“I am very happy to come back to Team Astana, because for me it is a real family that has given me a lot and together with which I have achieved my greatest successes. I know most of the management and staff of the team, so I will return to the team I know really well. Also I have some very nice memories from visiting Kazakhstan and its capital and it was an unforgettable experience”, – said Vincenzo Nibali.

“It is difficult to talk right now about any specific expectations for my return to the team, as well as about the plans for next season. But first of all, for me it will be an enjoyable reunion with the team, and I would like to enjoy the new season to the fullest. Of course, I would like to prove myself, to achieve certain results, but at the same time I am interested in providing my experience to young riders. In any case, together with the team management we will still discuss various aspects of the new season, we will determine the goals, both team and my personal ones, and after that we will start moving in the chosen direction”, – added Nibali.

Nibali spent four seasons in Team Astana and accumulated 22 wins, including his three Grand Tour titles, as well as victories at Il Lombardia, the Italian National Championships, Tirreno-Adriatico, Giro del Trentino and Tour of Oman. In the blue colours of the Kazakh team, Nibali won an impressive nine Grand Tour stages.

“We are happy that this return is coming true. Vincenzo Nibali doesn’t need any introduction – he is a true champion and leader. Probably, he spent the best years of his career in our team, and I think it is symbolic that he will finish such a great cycling career in Team Astana. For us, the arrival of Nibali is an opportunity to get and to use all the rich experience a rider of his calibre can offer, to transform and improve the team, which will undergo some great changes in the new season. We would like to pay more attention to young riders and the presence of a champion like Nibali could play a very important role in their growth and development. However, I believe that Vincenzo has not said yet his last word in cycling, so in some races we can still rely on him as the leader of the team to achieve new successes together again”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Team Astana in 2022.

Photo credit: @Gettysport

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Experienced domestique Hollenstein returns to Tour after three years of absence

He is certainly one of the tallest riders in the Tour de France this year, Reto Hollenstein. At almost two meters tall, he is about to return to the biggest stage race in the world.

From 2014 to 2017, the Swiss skyscraper raced four consecutive Tour de Frances. After three years of absence, the experienced domestique returns to the country of wine and cheese.

“My main target is to support our team leader, sprinter, and help the team with daily stage goals,” Hollenstein said. “I am happy the team chose me for this job.”

The 35-year-old has had 26 race days so far this season, piloting, in his thirteenth year as a professional bike rider, Michael Woods to good results in the Volta a Catalunya, spring classics, Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné, as well as closing down gaps for Ben Hermans in the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month.

“My preparation towards the Tour de France has been good,” Hollenstein says. “I’ve done an altitude camp with some of the other riders going to the Tour in May, and that was one of the most fun and successful training camps I did so far in my career.”

Criterium du Dauphine 2021 – 73rd Edition – 8th stage La Lechere Les-Bains – Les Gets 147 km – 06/06/2021 – Reto Hollenstein (SUI – Israel Start-Up Nation) – Alexander Cataford (CAN – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

He laughed, joked, and trained hard with Omer Goldstein, Chris Froome, and Alexis Renard on Tenerife. “That training camp gave me a lot of morale to train even harder this season.”

His efforts on the bike, performances in races, and big heart for teammates to achieve their goals, resulted in a spot in the line-up for the world’s biggest race.

“I am looking forward to battling three weeks on French roads with my teammates. The team morale is very good, we know each other well after having spent quite a bit of time on the road together, and we are motivated to achieve our goals. I am honored and proud that I am part of this line-up.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com