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“Our DNA is in stage races, and in this light I expect a lot from Fuglsang , but we want to try to be competitive even in one-day races. Who? I have two names, Moser and Valgren ".

Photo: A.S.O.

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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24.11.2016 @ 11:22 Posted by Cecilie Rafaelsen

Astana is more than Fabio Aru. That is the message that sports director Giuseppe Martinelli wants to send to everyone, inside and outside the team, ahead of 2017. Having lost Vincenzo Nibali, the Kazakh team undoubtedly has Fabio Aru the man of reference but the Sardinian will not be the only leader of a team that is ready to show themselves with several riders and in different terrains.

 

“The team changes a lot,” Martinelli tells La Gazzetta dello Sport.”It will be up to us to forget Vincenzo, even though he managed to win three Grand Tours in four years and is a great loss. But we have a leader like Aru and many cards to play. We are definitely obliged to pull something out of the hat. I think we'll have a great season this year.

 

“Fabio had a below-par 2016 but defeats can be healthy and Aru has a great desire to react. I want to see him competitive already at Tirreno-Adriatico and then go for the Giro.”

 

With Aru focused on the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, there is plenty of room to shine.The first to be able to take advantage, especially in stage races, are the rising young star Miguel Angel Lopez – although his condition will be uncertain due to the injury that will keep him out of racing in the early part of the year – and Jakob Fuglsang who will join Lopez as the leader in the Tour de France. 

 

"I think Jakob will show himself,” says Martinelli. “In the last two years he has definitely a great wingman, but do not forget that we also have Michele Scarponi who was instrumental in many races last year. Do not forget he has found a second youth.”

 

Scarponi will undoubtedly be one of Aru’s trusted men of, but will get some personal chances to.

 

Martinelli points to another two riders. One of them is Moreno Moser whom he expects a lot from.

 

"I think I can say that this year will decide his future. I believe that we will be able to really pull something out of this guy because a rider like him cannot disapperar. He must have some continuity here and has all the possibilities to get that."

 

Moser will have the chance to go for stage wins and shine in short stage races where he can use his TT skills. Among the scenarios that Martinelli imagines, is a participation in the Giro "to win a pretty important stage", but he is ready to give him space earlier too, "at Tirreno - Adriatico for example." 

 

The last rider mentioned by Martinelli is Michael  Valgren, "the name that will surprise fans in the Northern Classics.”

 

“Our DNA is in stage races, and in this light I expect a lot from Fuglsang , but we want to try to be competitive even in one-day races. Who? I have two names, Moser and Valgren ".

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