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2014 Tour de France - Stage 21

2015 Contract News

 

In August Astana Pro Team will take on three young stagiaires from Astana Continental Team to race through the end of the 2014 season -

Maksat Ayazbaev – KAZ

Bakhtiyar Kozhataev – KAZ

Ilya Davidenok – KAZ

Davidenok recently won the overall general classification at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China -

Kozhataev has shown consistent Top-5 finish capability in races for the past two seasons -

Ayazbaev will start the upcoming Tour of Denmark in support of Jakob Fuglsang -

Astana Pro Team has signed contracts with the following riders to begin in the 2015 season – more information to follow :

Lars Boom – NED – 2 years

Luis Leon Sanchez – ESP – 1 year

Diego Rosa – ITA – 2 years

Davide Malacarne – ITA – 1 year

Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov said:

“Boom is a classics rider as well as a Grand Tour teammate, and won stage five this year at the Tour de France in conditions not seen on the pave in more than a decade -“

“Malacarne and Rosa are strong Italian riders who can help Fabio Aru in stage races -“

 

 

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ST21 : Tour de France :: Évry-Paris- 137km

“When you win the Tour de France you do not win alone – My teammates -The whole team staff – Directors Sportif Martinelli, Shefer, Fofonov and Sedoun among the best in the world -“

“Thank you to our sponsors and thank you Vinokourov and Darkhan for giving me the team that won this Tour de France -“

Vincenzo Nibali at the end of stage 21 at the Tour de France – the final day of racing -

Nibali is the 2014 Tour de France champion, winning four stages in 21 days of competition, with an advantage of nearly eight minutes over his second place rival -

Nibali now joins an elite group of riders in the world to have won all three Grand Tours – and asserts his place as one of the greatest cyclists of this new generation -

Astana Pro Team joins Nibali in thanking sponsors at Samruk-Kazyna, Astana Motors, Raimbek Group, Specialized Bicycles, Corima Wheels and so many more -

Nibali stands alone atop the podium – nine riders from Astana Pro Team cross the line in victory – dozens of staff and management personnel join in celebration – hundreds of family members, thousands of friends and millions of fans all cheer the winner of the 2014 Tour de France -

 

Tour de France 2014

ST20 : Tour de France :: Bergerac-Périgueux (ITT) 54km

“The people to thank first are the staff – the mechanics who wake up at 5am, the masseurs who work 18 hours a day, the cook who drives 600km from hotel to hotel -“

“The staff are the ones who keep us on the bikes all the way to Paris, and when we cross the line tomorrow we do it because of them -“

Vincenzo Nibali after stage 20 of the Tour de France – a hot, humid and hard individual time trial on the final day of competitive racing after three weeks  -

Sunday’s final stage is a ceremonial procession into Paris – a short, slow parade on to the Champs Elysees before a quick and exciting 10 laps up and down France’s most famous avenue in front of tens of thousands of fans -

The General Classification is complete, Nibali has more than seven minutes advantage on his second place rival – and the entire team of nine riders at Astana Pro Team will ride to the finish together, their arms held high, standing on the shoulders of a giant support staff -

Tour de France 2014

ST19 : Tour de France :: Maubourguet-Bergerac – 208km

“Defending the yellow jersey gives you some kind of extra motivation to work – never in my career have I felt this kind of desire to work so hard -“

Alessandro Vanotti after stage 19 at the Tour de France –  a long, rainy and ultimately very fast day at the tail end of three weeks on the bike -

Vanotti helped to defend Vincenzo Nibali’s 16th day in the leader’s yellow jersey, and with two days remaining looks forward to arriving in Paris to complete his 17th career grand tour -

The 2014 Tour de France has been a remarkable feat of accomplishment for Astana Pro Team – and began on paper in November of 2013 as team staff, personnel and riders all sat down at a week-long retreat in Italy to plan the coming season -

With the Tour de France as the team’s primary objective, the calendars for racing and training were set for 29 riders and nearly 50 staff – beginning in Spain in December and carrying through races on four continents in more than a dozen countries -

To arrive prepared at the Grand Depart in Leeds some three weeks ago, the nine riders on this squad had prepared for months, spending more than 90 days at various training camps, flying to South America to race in January, leaving behind their homes and families for weeks at a time to accomplish the goal -

Saturday’s individual time trial will be the final chance for riders in the General Classification to improve their standings -

With more than seven minutes advantage over second place, Nibali nonetheless will race aggressively and with great speed, having arrived at the final moment of a year’s planning in top shape, defended by his teammates every single day of the Tour de France -

Tour de France 2014

ST18 : Tour de France :: Pau-Hautacam – 145km

“I have a job to do every day – and it doesn’t matter if I finish 70th or 130th or last – my job is to work for my team and make sure the leader is number one -“

Dmitriy Gruzdev after stage 18 at the Tour de France – where team leader Vincenzo Nibali won his fourth stage of this year’s race -

Nibali added two more minutes to his lead in the overall classification, and now has more than seven minutes ahead of his nearest rival with three stages to the finish -

Gruzdev led his teammates up to the first difficult kilometers of Thursday’s first major mountain – the Tourmalet – and effectively eliminated dozens of riders from a peloton already exhausted after nearly three weeks of racing -

By the time the race reached Hautacam – where tens of thousands of fans lined the hot, humid mountainside to cheer the race – Gruzdev was already back in the gruppetto – among the riders no longer at the front, but still pedaling to finish ahead of the official time limit -

The current Asian Continental individual time trial champion finished the day more than half an hour behind Nibali – 104th on the day – and now sits in 133rd place overall – more than four hours down -

Nibali has been number one for 16 of 18 days in this year’s Tour de France -

2014 Tour de France - Stage 15

ST17 : Tour de France :: Saint Gaudens-Pla d’Adet – 124km

“I’ve been this tired before – but never this satisfied -“

“We have been working to protect Vincenzo’s lead since the beginning of the Tour – and when you are working for the leader it’s always satisfying, no matter how hard -“

Michele Scarponi after stage 17 at the Tour de France – where the Italian rider worked at the front of a shattered peloton to lead Vincenzo Nibali through nearly 60km of climbing on Wednesday -

Teammates Dmitriy Gruzdev, Andrei Grivko and Maxim Iglinskiy all chased early breakaway attempts early in the race – with Jakob Fuglsang finally joining a large group of escapees on the first of three first-category climbs, with an HC climb at the finish -

Nibali came to the bottom of the final climb with fresh legs and a safe margin of more than four and a half minutes to his nearest rival, safe behind Scarponi and Tanel Kangert -

With steady work and strong legs, by the end of stage 17 Nibali added nearly a minute to his overall lead in the Tour de France and will wear the leader’s yellow jersey for the 15th day when the race starts again on Thursday -

 

 

Tour de France 2014

ST16 : Tour de France :: Carcassonne-Bagnères de Luchon – 237km

“We have to be smart tomorrow – some guys are racing to keep their GC positions, some are trying to gain seconds before the time trial on Saturday -“

“It’s going to be like the last stage of the Dauphine this year – full gas from the start -“

Tanel Kangert after stage 16 at the Tour de France -

The Estonian rider paced teammate Vincenzo Nibali up the final climb of the first day in the Pyrenees, protecting the yellow jersey until only a handful of opponents remained -

Nibali holds on to his lead over second place by more than four and a half minutes – but every rider in the overall classification from third to 20th changed positions on Tuesday – a sure sign that a ferocious contest awaits the peloton on Wednesday’s Queen Stage of the Tour de France -

 

Tour de France 2014

ST15 : Tour de France :: Tallard-Nîmes – 222km

“Paolo Slongo is my trainer, Michele Pallini takes care of my legs – Nobody knows me better than them, and I have been with them for years – I’m proud to be Italian and I’m proud to be among such great champions -“

“With Astana Pro Team and the riders around me here at the Tour de France we have prepared for this race all season, and it is because of them and the whole organization that we have the yellow jersey on the second rest day -“

Vincenzo Nibali after stage 15 at the Tour de France – a long, mostly flat day down from the Alps into the stormy purple lavender fields of Provence -

The Italian national champion leads his nearest rival by four and a half minutes – less than one percent of the total time raced -

Nibali has now worn the leader’s yellow jersey for 12 of the 15 days of racing – to include three stage wins and a strong team finish over brutal cobblestones in the cold rain of northern France -

There is one week to go until the Tour de France reaches Paris – and these final days will be tougher and more challenging with each kilometer -

For each of those 15 days all of Astana Pro Team’s riders and staff have worked with professionalism, purpose and pride to keep Nibali heathy, upright, protected and absolutely prepared for the long days of racing and the extremely stressful conditions of travel, transport and television -

The race is not over – the top step of the final podium is one percent higher than everything else -

2014 Tour de France - Stage 13

ST14 : Tour de France :: Grenoble-Risoul – 177km

“When it started to rain on the descent I was afraid for a moment, but I know how to ride a bike -“

“Physically I am just destroyed – the tendons in my legs are as hard as rocks and my neck, my back and my arms all hurt – but I worked hard today and tomorrow is a flat stage – I should be fine next week -“

Jakob Fuglsang after stage 14 at the Tour de France – where the Danish rider led teammate Vincenzo Nibali in the mountains until the final climb of the day -

With more key help from teammates Tanel Kangert, Michele Scarponi and Andrei Grivko, Nibali held on to the leader’s yellow jersey and even increase the time advantage over his nearest rival to more than four and a half minutes -

Fuglsang suffered contusions, abrasions, pain and soreness all over his body after an accidental crash on a descent in Friday’s stage 13 when a water bottle accidentally rolled into his front wheel -

Team staff, including physiotherapists, the team doctor, the team osteopath, the team acupuncturist and the team chef all worked to help Fuglsang recover overnight and restore his health as much as possible, if not the wounds on his body, to get him ready for Saturday’s stage -

With teamwork Fuglsang was able to play his own part in defending Nibali’s overall lead in the General Classification -

Sunday’s stage is 222km long, but with no major climbs and the final 100k either downhill or mostly flat – a very good opportunity for Fuglsang to rest in the peloton and recover ahead of Monday’s scheduled rest day -