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Astana sign Westra and Pellizotti for 2014

Stephen Farrand
August 1, 2013, 08:24,
August 1, 2013, 09:32
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 1, 2013
Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) comes past in second place

Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) comes past in second place

  • Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) comes past in second place
  • Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) finished sixth on the stage
  • Photo op time for 2013 Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali and his Astana teammates

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Muravyev, Bozic, Gavazzi and Tiralongo extend contracts with the Kazakhstan team

Astana is the first major team to kick off the cycling transfer season, announcing it has signed Lieuwe Westra and Franco Pellizotti for 2014, with several other riders also extending their current contracts.

Under UCI rules, teams can confirm new signing for the 2014 season from August 1.

Both new signings will boost the strength of the Astana team for stage races and no doubt play key roles in helping team leader Vincenzo Nibali target the 2014 Tour de France.

Westra is the Dutch national time trial champion, a consistent stage race rider and has been a team leader at the Vacansoleil-DCM team. He finished second to Bradley Wiggins at Paris-Nice in 2012, won the Tour of Denmark and was second in the Tour of Belgium. This year he won the opening stage of the Tour of California. He rode the Tour de France but was forced to retire from the race on the last stage to Paris due to illness.

Pellizotti is also an experienced rider who can target hilly stage races and Classics. He raced with Nibali at Liquigas but was suspended for two years after being caught by the UCI's biological passport. He made a comeback in May 2012 and immediately won the Italian national title while riding for the Androni Giocattoli team. He finished 11th overall in this year's Giro d'Italia and was second overall at the Route du Sud race in France in June.

"Franco is a veteran rider with more than 10 years of experience as a professional, and we are very happy to welcome him back among his friends and family. He rode at Liquigas-Cannondale with Vincenzo and they know each other well. He will be a valuable asset in our preparations for the Tour de France next year," team manager Alexandre Vinokurov said in a statement from the Astana team.

"Lieuwe is a very strong time trialist and climber, and joins Astana as a rider who could help Vincenzo Nibali next year at the Tour de France."

Dmitriy Muravyev, Borut Bozic, Francesco Gavazzi and Paolo Tiralongo have extended their contracts with the Kazakhstan team.

objectif More than 1 year ago
I know Martinelli is trying to build an Italian army, but Pellizotti is a bad move
Joachim Bårdholt More than 1 year ago
Pellizotti another doper on the main dope team now
João Sá More than 1 year ago
that's life, idiots everywhere.
João Sá More than 1 year ago
once again, in all the news from cycling. some idiot talks about doping. It's time to talk about other things, I guess
Broth3r More than 1 year ago
Pellizotti doped, served his time, finito. Good luck on Astana.
João Sá More than 1 year ago
thank you! Finally wise words
Bola del Mundo More than 1 year ago
Astana is one of the most successful cycling teams in the world. Lieuwe Westra would be a great addition to help Vincenzo Nibali.
dnicemunchoff More than 1 year ago
that's life, idiots on Astana
Pippo_San More than 1 year ago
Never liked Pellizzotti as a rider but...WOW! WHAT A MONSTER GT TEAM THEY GOT THERE! An excellent climbing domestique and an excellent everything (Westra). Oh dear, the preachers of the "marginal gains" are gonna have a hard time :P What a battle the Tour 2014 will be!
marcello More than 1 year ago
Westra was impressive in Cali, and elsewhere. Wish him luck. He probly got a big bonus with that team. They buy any rider they want.
VinNibali More than 1 year ago
There are rumors that in the Tour de France 2014, will be a very long team time trial so Nibali wants Westra in his team , and Pellizotti I think it is a good move,, he can be the leader in Giro!