Fuglsang open to offers as he considers leaving Astana

'After five years at Astana it might be time to move on,' says 32-year-old Dane

After five years at Astana, Jakob Fuglsang is considering a move away from the Kazakh team, with his agent seeking out offers from other WorldTour teams.

The Dane, 32, joined Astana from Radioshack at the start of 2013, finishing seventh in the Tour de France that year, and signed a two-year extension in the summer of 2015 to take him through to the end of the 2017 season.

"I have to consider all options. It's clear to me that after five years at Astana it might be time to move on," he told Cyclingnews in Saint-Chamond on Monday before the start of stage 2 at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

"On the other hand, I have to say I'm happy in Astana and I've been happy the four and a half years I've been here. It could well be that I stay. They say, 'Why change it if it works?'. But it's also true that sometimes you have to look for new motivation, new things."

The past couple of years have seen Fuglsang play a domestique role at Astana, but the departure of Vincenzo Nibali at the end of last season has seen him granted more freedom this year. He was awarded leadership for the Tour de France, though that has since been changed to co-leadership, after a knee injury forced Aru to swerve his original objective of the Giro d'Italia.

Astana also have Miguel Angel Lopez in their ranks, and while the young Colombian is currently enduring a protracted injury lay-off, he would probably push Fuglsang back down to third in the GC pecking order next season.

Either way, with contract negotiations still in their infancy, Fuglsang knows that his performance at the Tour next month takes on greater significance in terms of the offers that come in and the money attached to them.

"Of course, the Tour can change things," he said. "But I'm going to take it quite easy. I'm just leaving it up to my manager to see what opportunities there are, and then afterwards I'll have to weigh up the pros and cons."

Fuglsang is currently doubling up with Aru at the Critérium du Dauphiné, a key building block for the Tour. There is no pressure on the Italian as he makes his first racing appearance since March, leaving Fuglsang to embrace the outright leadership role, though he insists he feels no pressure to prove himself ahead of July, nor a sense of competition with Aru.

"We even room together now, so there are no hard feelings between us," he said.

"I think it's obvious that no matter what, Fabio and I will share leadership in the Tour. The guy who's the strongest will become the main leader. If I have to work for him then yes, I will, but we'll have to see. There's still some time to the Tour and we'll see once we get there.

"Doing well here [at the Dauphiné] would give me some confidence ahead of the Tour. It would show if I'm on the right way and my progression is running as I want it to."

Related Articles

Back to top