Milan-San Remo: Nibali to lead Astana

Astana name eight-man team for Italian monument

Cyclingnews will have live coverage of Milan-San Remo from 8am GMT on Saturday, March 19.

Vincenzo Nibali will spearhead Astana's team for Milan-San Remo with the Kazakh team confirming its riders for the monument via Twitter. Nibali will be without teammate Michele Scarponi, who broke his collarbone during the penultimate stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Nibali finished sixth overall at Tirreno-Adriatico after the Queen stage was pulled following a forecast for heavy snow. The Italian was riled up after what he thought was an unnecessary cancellation - with his coach saying he may not ride the Giro d'Italia - and he’s likely to be fired up come Saturday. There should be no such problems this weekend, with temperatures of 14 degrees and some sunshine predicted.

This year will be Nibali’s 10th start at La Classicissima, after making his debut in 2006. His best performances came during the previous incarnation of the route, which included the climb of Le Manie. In 2012, he made his one and only appearance on the podium after getting into a late break with Fabian Cancellara and Simon Gerrans.

Astana will also be able to look to Lars Boom and Paris-Nice stage winner Alexey Lutsenko, while Latvian time trial champion Gatis Smukulis, Andriy Grivko and Valerio Agnoli are likely to be called upon to position Nibali inside the final 30 kilometres with the Cipressa and Poggio climbs. Eros Capecchi and Luis Leon Sanchez complete the eight rider team.

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