June 23, 2013 – Danish climber Jakob Fuglsang will be the Astana team’s main hope for competing for yellow in this year’s Tour de France which gets underway in Corsica next Saturday.
Fuglsang, 28, will be the team leader in the absence of Italian Vincenzo Nibali, who was third in the Tour last year but has already earned his spurs for his new outfit this season with victory in the Giro d’Italia.
Fuglsang will be riding in his third Tour, having finished 50th overall on his previous two appearances, the last one in 2011 the year he recorded his strongest showing in a major Tour with 11th in the Tour of Spain.
“Fuglsang showed in the Criterium du Dauphine (he was fourth overall behind Tour favorite Chris Froome) that he is highly motivated to do well,” said the Kazakh outfit’s sporting director Dimitry Sedoun.
“The Tour de France presents a lot of opportunities for each rider to win a stage.”
Should Fuglsang fail to replicate his Criterium Dauphine form then Astana have a fallback option in Slovenian Janez Brajkovic, who was ninth in last year’s Tour.
Team: Assan Bazayev (KAZ), Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Enrico Gasparotto (ITA), Francesco Gavazzi (ITA), Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ), Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE), Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ), Dmitri Muravyev (KAZ)