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Fuglsang confirmed as Astana's Tour de France leader

By:
Stephen Farrand
Published:
June 23, 2013, 15:59 BST,
Updated:
June 23, 2013, 17:00 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 23, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
A focused Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

A focused Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

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Brajkovic, Gasparotto and Kessiakoff also in the squad

The Astana team has named its final Tour de France line-up, confirming Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang as team leader, with the rest of the team consisting of stage race hunters and climbers.

Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali is not riding the Tour de France. He will focus on the Vuelta a Espana and world road race championships in September.

Fuglsang showed some solid form at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, finishing fourth overall.

Also in the starting nine are Assan Bazayev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Alexey Lutsenko and Dmitri Muravyev.

"The general classification at the Tour de France is by no means a forgone conclusion, and we see ourselves as dark-horse outsiders for a good finish in Paris," directeur sportif Dimitry Sedoun said in the press release announcing the team.

"Fuglsang showed at the Criterium du Dauphine how well he can ride when he has the proper training and confidence, and he is very motivated to do well. The pressure is on the big favorites in this race, and we are content to come in low-stress with a strong team and ride well," Sedoun said.

"This Tour de France has a lot of individual opportunities for stage victories, and we will send an experienced set of riders to seek them out. The winds off the Atlantic seacoast will split the peloton to favour breakaways, and the four stages in the Alps are going to make the whole race a fight to the finish. In particular the Alpe d'Huez day we expect a very, very hard first climb, and an extremely difficult descent to come back for the second time up the mountain."

The Astana team for the 100th Tour de France: Jakob Fuglsang, Assan Bazayev, Janez Brajkovic, Enrico Gasparotto, Francesco Gavazzi, Andrey Kashechkin, Fredrik Kessiakoff, Alexey Lutsenko and Dmitri Muravyev.
 

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