Team Country: Kazakhstan Sports Manager: STANGELJ Gorazd Category: UCI World Teams
In 2016, Astana Pro Team are set to be one of the key Grand Tour players, with Vincenzo Nibali returning to the Giro d’Italia, which he already won in 2013, and Fabio Aru, fresh from his Vuelta a España triumph in 2015, making his debut in the Tour de France.
Each of the two Italians has something in his favour when it comes to three-week stage races: in Nibali’s case it is arguably his immense experience – after all, the quietly spoken Sicilian won his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, back in 2010. As for Aru, his explosive climbing and aggressive racing style will likely prove a very dangerous combination. It will be his debut at Tour de France so we can expect that he will be under the radar.
Astana’s 30-rider 2016 roster icludes Luis León Sánchez, Michele Scarponi, Dario Cataldo, Paolo Tiralongo, Diego Rosa and Jakob Fuglsang. Other promising young riders like 23-year-old Alexey Lutsenko, winner of a Tour de Suisse stage in 2015, and former Tour de l’Avenir winner Miguel Angel López, 21, are already waiting should any of Astana’s more veteran racers show signs of weakness. Astana's team leader at Tour of Croatia will be sprinter Andrea Guardini.