2019 Edition

Stages won 0
Overall ranking 10
Competitors in race 6
Sporting managers : FOFONOV Dmitriy / MICHAELSEN Lars http://www.astanaproteam.kz/

ASTANA PRO TEAM

The capital of Kazakhstan, since renamed Nur-Sultan in honour of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev, lent the name Astana to a world-class cycling team ever since sponsor Liberty Seguros pulled out in May 2006. A coalition of state-owned companies of this former Soviet republic in Asia provides the financial backing for the team, which has oft-times changed its management throughout its eventful history.

The team was booted from the 2007 Tour following the positive test result of its leader and founder Alexander Vinokourov, forcing it to spend some time in Purgatory before making its return. Nevertheless, the Kazakh team's 2009 Tour was marred by its break-up into two factions, one coalescing around eventual winner Alberto Contador and another around comeback star Lance Armstrong. In 2010, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned Alberto Contador's acquittal at the end of a long-running legal affair. And in 2011, Astana's flagship rider Alexander Vinokourov was in his final curtain call in the Grande Boucle when he fell and broke a bone in the Cantal department.

Therefore, the Kazakh champion came back to fight another day, claiming gold in the road race in London 2012 and preparing the future of a team that represents a country where the Tour de France frenzy is still going strong despite these bumps on the road. Vincenzo Nibali, who won the 2013 and 2016 Giros as well as the 2014 Tour in the turquoise kit, brought the spotlight back onto the team. 2015 Vuelta champion Fabio Aru, who repeated Nibali's 2014 exploit by winning on La Planche des Belles Filles in 2017, became the only rider who has managed to take the yellow jersey from Chris Froome in the mountains, in Peyragudes, albeit for just two days. The Danish winner of the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné, Jakob Fuglsang, who has tasted success this season with victories in Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Critérium du Dauphiné, will lead the team until the Colombian phenomenon Miguel Ángel López (best young rider in the 2018 and 2019 Giros) comes fully into his own.

  • Final victories 2
  • Stages victories 12
  • Yellows Jerseys 16
  • Other race Won 1

Overall wins : 2

  • 2009: Alberto Contador
  • 2014: Vincenzo Nibali

Stage wins : 12

  • 2009: team time trial in Montpellier and Alberto Contador in Verbier and Annecy (ITT)
  • 2010: Alexander Vinokourov in Revel
  • 2014: Vincenzo Nibali in Sheffield, La Planche des Belles Filles, Chamrousse and Hautacam
  • 2015: Vincenzo Nibali at La Toussuire–Les Sybelles
  • 2017: Fabio Aru on La Planche des Belles Filles
  • 2018: Omar Fraile in Mende and Magnus Cort Nielsen in Carcassonne

Secondary classification wins : 1

  • 2009: team classification

Yellow jerseys : 16

  • 2009: Alberto Contador, seven days
  • 2010: Alberto Contador, six days
  • 2014: Vincenzo Nibali, nineteen days
  • 2017: Fabio Aru, two days

A FIGURE

19: the number of days Vincenzo Nibali spent in yellow in 2014.

MILESTONES

24 July 2007: the entire Astana team is disqualified from the Tour de France following the positive test result of its leader Alexander Vinokourov.

7 July 2009: the Astana stars (Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden…) steamroll the team time trial as an appetiser before Contador's overall win.

6 July 2014: Vincenzo Nibali takes the lead in a stage where few expected him to do so, in Sheffield, riding into a headwind and with the pack hot on his heels.

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