- I am very pleased that such a great team as Astana showed its interest in me and showed confidence by offering me the first professional contract. I am happy to start next year as part of one of the best teams in the world. After several years in the continental teams, Astana gives me a chance to try myself on a professional level. This is my sweet dream to perform in the jersey of Astana Pro Team and now this dream come true, - said Yuri Natarov.
In the last three years, Yuriy Natarov (21 years old) rode for the continental team Astana City, where he achieved a number of high results. Last year, Natarov won a bronze medal in the individual time trial of the U23 Asian Cycling Championship, became second in the Italian one-day race GP Capodarco and took 10th place in the overall classification of the Tour of Almaty.
This season, Yuriy Natarov showed himself very well in the youth version of the Giro d'Italia, where he became the 3rd in one of the stages and finished 10th in the final general classification. Besides, he was twice 8th in the individual time trial and road race of the Kazakhstan National Championships.
- Yuriy has been in the field of vision of our team for a long time, we are watching with interest the progress of this young rider. It is difficult to say what will be his specialty, but now it is clear that Natarov is talented and ambitious. Every year Astana Team invites young Kazakh riders, we are always in search of domestic talents. Yuriy Natarov has great potential, and we will try to provide the rider with all the conditions for growth and development in the WorldTour, - said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.