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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, December 12, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. - Robert C. Gallagher

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Astana presents it 2017 team roster

The squad posted this news:

On December 11, the official presentation of Astana Pro Team-2017 was held in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The event was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Independence of Kazakhstan.

The presentation was attended by honored guests of the team, representatives of state government, Kazakhstan cycling federation, sponsors and partners, including Astana Motors, who will continue supporting the team in the new season, journalists and Astana fans and supporters.

Before starting the official part of the presentation, Astana Team took a look back into 2016, remembered the most important moments of the last season and told about new changes in the team.

"I believe, we spent a very successful season. Together with Vincenzo Nibali we won the famous Giro d’Italia, while in total we scored 34 victories and 30 podium places in the most prestigious races around the world. I am especially happy with the fact that 7 wins and 4 podiums were scored by our Kazakhstan riders. Anyway, the year is over and now we are looking forward to the upcoming season. With full confidence we can say that our project is on the right way. There will be some important changes in Astana in 2017: in the roster, in cycling clothing, bikes and other technical things. We are sure that all these changes will lead to a new step of development, both, of the team and the entire project. Today, we are presenting the renewed team to give you an opportunity to be proud of us in the next season," said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.

During the official presentation the new Astana Pro Team bicycles Argon 18 were presented.

Alongside, the new design of the cycling kit by Giordana Company was showed to the guests. The renewed kit received a more modern design while holding the traditional Astana turquoise color so loved by its fans. Giordana used all the newest technologies to make the clothing more comfortable for riders.

Astana general manager Alexandr Vinokurov pointed the biggest goals of the team in the next season:

"Traditionally, Astana Team will focus on successful performance in the Grand Tours. This is our strong side, during our history we won 8 Grand Tours, so we are exciting to strive for the new successes. We have a strong leader Fabio Aru and the team will be built around him. Besides, we have a number of young, but very ambitions riders, who can surprise. Of course, we are planning Kazakhstan riders for the Grand Tours too. First of all, we are talking about Alexey Lutsenko, Andrey Zeits, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, but, maybe, we will try Daniil Fominykh and Artem Zakharov too. However, besides the Grand Tours, there are a lot of prestigious races in the new UCI WorldTour calendar, which will be another goal for Astana. First of all, we are talking about week stage races, but also we would like to get some good results during the classic season," said Alexandr Vinokurov.

In the final, the new roster of Astana Pro Team-2017 was introduced to the guests of the event as well as to the whole world’s cycling community. With exception of Miguel Angel Lopez, who is still recovering after his recent crash during the training, all other riders of the team arrived to the ceremony.

Fabio Aru

Fabio Aru will be an important part of the 2017 Astana team

Riding for Astana Pro Team in 2017 are 28 riders from nine countries of Kazakhstan, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, Estonia, Colombia and Russia:

Fabio Aru, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Pello Bilbao, Matti Breschel, Michael Valgren, Oscar Gatto, Andriy Grivko, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Laurens De Vreese, Artyom Zakharov, Andrey Zeits, Arman Kamyshev, Dario Cataldo, Tanel Kangert, Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, Miguel Angel Lopez, Alexey Lutsenko, Riccardo Minali, Moreno Moser, Luis Leon Sanchez, Michele Scarponi, Nikita Stalnov, Paolo Tiralongo, Ruslan Tleubayev, Daniil Fominykh, Jacob Fuglsang, Jesper Hansen and Sergei Chernetckii.

Quick-Step Floors team headed for first training camp before 2017 season

Here's the release from the team:

Our team will head to Spain on Monday, where it will conduct a ten-day building block.

Costa Brava's reputation as a destination for winter training camps among professional team has witnessed a fast grow in the past years, and this December will play once again host for Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team's first training camp. Sunny Denia will welcome the outfit's riders at the start of next week, as the 29 members of the team, including the eight new recruits, will use this opportunity to lay a strong foundation for the 2017 season.

Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen will be racing again in 2017

Koen Pelgrim, Quick-Step Floors Cycling's trainer, talked of why the pre-season training camp – that comes just a few weeks before Australia's Tour Down Under, the team's first race – is such a key part ahead of next season, in which the squad hopes to continue on the successful road of the past years: "This is the first and only moment of the season when all the riders will be all together. They will do a test to evaluate their current condition, their working points and set specific training zones for their work on the bike."

"From the starting point we'll use the camp to get the first big block of training done. The guys have been training at home, of course, but here we will increase the training load towards the new season. We will use the (hopefully) good weather and good roads to get a block of endurance training done in order to have a nice build-up for the rest of the preparation. We will also mix in specific and hard work for the riders who have early objectives, in January, practice lead-outs, while off the bike we will focus on core and strength", concluded Koen, who was instrumental in the team's victories during the 2016 season.

The 29 Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team riders who'll take part in the Denia training camp: Julian Alaphilippe, Jack Bauer, Tom Boonen, Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, Rémi Cavagna, Laurens De Plus, David De La Cruz, Tim Declercq, Dries Devenyns, Fernando Gaviria, Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels, Iljo Keisse, Marcel Kittel, Yves Lampaert, Daniel Martin, Davide Martinelli, Enric Mas, Maximiliano Richeze, Fabio Sabatini, Maximilian Schachmann, Pieter Serry, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin, Petr Vakoč, Martin Velits, Julien Vermote.

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