Vinokourov faces into final Tour
Astana have named Roman Kreuziger in a strong line-up for the Tour de France, which will be led by Alexandre Vinokourov.
Kreuziger finished 6th overall at the Giro d’Italia and carried the white jersey of best young rider to Milan. The Czech was initially scheduled to forgo the Tour in what is his first season with Astana, but after recovering well from his exertions in Italy, he has opted to compete in France. He has finished in 9th place in each of the past two Tours.
Giro d’Italia stage winner Paolo Tiralongo is the only other rider from Astana team in Italy to double up at the Tour. The Sicilian was among Alberto Contador’s most trusted lieutenants at last year’s race, and he will offer valuable support to Vinokourov in the mountains.
Paris-Nice stage winner Rémy Di Gregorio will also be aiming to shine on home roads, and the Frenchman has enjoyed a rich spell of form since swapping FDJ for Astana during the off-season. Tomas Vaitkus offers the team an outlet in the sprints, while there is also room for Kazakh pair Maxim Ignlinsky and Dimitri Fofonov.
The leader will of course be Alexandre Vinokourov, and the veteran has stated that his aim is to wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career in what is set to be the final instalment of his controversial relationship with the Tour de France.
Astana team for the Tour de France:
Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra), Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Paolo Tiralongo (Ita), Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) and Andrey Zeits (Kaz).
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