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“Fuglsang showed at the Critérium du Dauphiné how well he can ride when he has the proper training and confidence, and he is very motivated to do well. The pressure is on the big favorites in this race, and we are conten...

Photo: Sirotti






24.06.2013 @ 10:29 Posted by Lukas Knöfler

Kazakhstan-sponsored Astana Pro Team will send a strong team of climbers and stage hunters to the start of the 2013 Tour de France in Corsica, with Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang leading the squad.


Fuglsang is accompanied by four Kazakh riders – Assan Bazaev, Andrey Kashechkin, Aleksey Lutsenko and Dmitry Muravyev –, as well as Slovenian Janez Brajkovic, Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff and Enrico Gasparotto as well as Francesco Gavazzi, both from Italy.


Astana sports director Dimitry Sedoun said the 2013 Tour de France will turn into serious business right away, Sunday’s stage two on Corsica as a key moment: “You won't win the Tour de France on stage two. But if you can't follow in the mountains or find the descent to the finish too technical, then you can put yourself in a position to lose it,” Sedoun said.


“The general classification at the Tour is by no means a foregone conclusion, and we look at ourselves as dark-horse outsiders for a good finish in Paris,” he continued. “Fuglsang showed at the Critérium du Dauphiné how well he can ride when he has the proper training and confidence, and he is very motivated to do well. The pressure is on the big favorites in this race, and we are content to come in with a strong team and ride well.”


Apart from supporting Fuglsang, the team is also looking for stage wins, with experienced Enrico Gasparotto the best bet for success along with Fredrik Kessiakoff and the aggressive Kazakh riders.


“This Tour de France has a lot of individual opportunities for stage victories, and we will send an experienced set of riders to seek them out. The winds off the Atlantic sea coast will split the peloton to favor breakaways, and the four stages in the Alps are going to make the whole race a fight to the finish. In particular on the L’Alpe d’Huez stage we expect a very, very hard first climb and an extremely difficult descent before the second time up the mountain,” Sedoun said.



Astana line-up for the 2013 Tour de France:

Jakob Fuglsang, Assan Bazaev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Aleksey Lutsenko, and Dmitry Muravyev.



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