A second team for Kazakhstan

Astana bolstered by support squad in 2012

The Kazakh cycling federation has announced that First Division team Astana will receive some support next year, as the creation of a second Kazakh team has been revealed. The project, named Astana-2, will exclusively include Kazakh riders and serve as a development squad for the team now headed by Alexandre Vinokourov.

The federation hopes to receive a Professional Continental license for the new outfit, but nothing has been finalised yet.

Up-and-coming Kazakh riders such as national time trial champion and Tour of Qinghai Lake second-placed Dmitryi Gruzdev, as well as Arman Kamyshev, Ruslan Tleubayev and Alexandre Shushemoin, should integrate the team in view of of a later career at the highest level.

Vinokourov's Astana team currently counts 12 professional riders from Kazakhstan, but with the 37-year-old inevitably hanging up the bike in the near future, a successor for the charismatic leader still has to be found.

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