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"Astana" has signed contracts with four new riders

Astana Pro Team informs that it has signed contracts with four new riders. In 2017 the following riders will join the Kazakh team:

Matti Breschel, a 32-year-old Danish rider, medallist of two world championships (2008, 2010). During his long career Breschel won 9 stages of the Tour of Denmark (2015, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007), three stages (2009, 2014) and general classification of the Tour of Luxembourg (2014), a stage of the Vuelta a España (2008) and the Dwars Door Vlaanderen classic race (2010).

"We believe that Breschel as a rider with solid experience will be of great help to Valgren at the spring classics in the Ardennes, which he is well aware of. Being the fourth Danish rider in the team, the rider is very motivated to compete for our team and help his countryman to vie for results in big races," Alexander Vinokourov, General Team Manager said.

Pello Bilbao, a 26-year-old Basque rider, who is the winner of the Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta (2011), the Tour de Beauce (2015), the stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (2015) and two stages of the Presidential Tour of Turkey (2015). During his career, Bilbao also stood at the podium of general classification of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon (2016), and was the second at the stage of the Vuelta a España (2015).

"We hope he will be a good domestique, who will assist Fabio Aru in the mountains, and also be able to catch up personally and maybe win some races, for example, in the Basque Country, in his homeland. He is young and active; we were observing him for a long time and decided to sign a contract with him for one year," Alexander Vinokourov, General Team Manager continued.

Zhandos Bizhigitov, a 25-year-old Kazakhstan rider, who represented Vino 4-ever SKO Continental Team for the last two years. This season Zhandos scored a victory at the stage of the Tour of Korea, and was the second at the Tour of Thailand and the third - at the Tour of Bulgaria. In 2015, he also stood at the podium of the Black Sea Tour, where he took the second place in the general classification and won a King of the Mountain jersey. In 2015, he was also a vice-champion of Asia in the individual time trial. Since August 2016 he has competed as a trainee of Astana Pro Team.

"We have signed a contract with Bizhigitov for two years - the rider is quite mature and ready to become a professional. I think, it's a good platform for his development, and extra motivation to stay in our team, where he held a number of races as a trainee and gained a good reputation at the autumn races in Italy. He raced with break-off; it is evident that the rider is eager to achieve results. A few days ago, we all watched his race at the Tour of Almaty, where he raced in a breakaway with Alexey Lutsenko; he was a little cold at the end, but still tried! It is a pity he didn't finish the second, he deserved this second place," the general manager of Astana added.

Sergey Chernetskiy, a 26-year-old rider from Russia, who is the winner of the overall standings and stage of the Tour des Fjords (2013) and stage at the Volta a Catalunya (2015). In addition, he stood at the podium of G.P. Camaiore (2012) and the Tour of Almaty (2014).

"Chernetskiy is a Russian rider, well-proven in the mountains. I think he is a good rider, who can reach good level with us, like our Kangert. I hope he will be a good helper for Fabio Aru in the mountains, and he also feels good in the team time trial," Vinokourov summarized. 

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