Guardini returns to Tour de Langkawi with Astana

Miguel Ángel López makes debut for team

Andrea Guardini will headline the Astana team for his fifth appearance at the Tour de Langkawi with the aim of adding to his record 14 stage wins. The Italian sprinter won five stages on his debut at the race in 2011 then went one better to claim six wins in 2012.

The 25-year-old has won at least won stage on each occasion he has entered the race and while he is yet to open his 2015 account, Guardini came close at the Dubai Tour.

Guardini is keen to return to the site of past successes in Malaysia where will face stiff opposition from the likes of Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) who already has two wins this season.

"I'm very aware of the qualities of Caleb Ewan and Jakub Mareczko," Guardini said. "I know Mareczko, he's from Brescia, not far from my hometown, he's already a very good sprinter. He has won two stages in Venezuela [at the Vuelta Tachira] in January."

Astana will be balancing its sprinting ambitions with a tilt at the general classification with 2014 Tour de L'Avenir champion Miguel Ángel López. The 21-year-old made his season debut at the Colombian national championships, finishing eighth, with Langkawi his first stage race for the team. Lopez will receive help from former winner of the Tour of Turkey, Alexandr Dyachenko, who is the eldest rider on the team.

Rounding out the team for 20th edition of the 2.HC event, which starts on March 8, are three young Kazakstan riders in Maxat Ayazbayev, Daniil Fominykh and Arman Kamyshev. The trio are all 23-years of age.

With Fominykh and Kamyshev both riding the race last year when Guardini picked up two stage wins, Ayazbayev and Lopez are the debutants in the Astana team for 2015

Astana for the 2015 le Tour de Langkawi: Andrea Guardini, Aleksandr Dyachenko, Miguel Ángel López, Daniil Fominykh, Maxat Ayazbayev and Arman Kamyshev.

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