Rein Taaramäe will make his return to the WorldTour in 2015, after securing a one-year contract with Astana. The former Estonian champion will leave Cofidis and join compatriot Tanel Kangert as a domestique for Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali.
“The Estonian climber is a strong addition to our squad and we hope that with Astana Pro Team he finds a place to show his maximum potential, where he can assist both Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru in the mountains, just like his friend and countryman Tanel Kangert,” said Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov.
This season has seen Taaramäe show hints of his former self, after undergoing an operation to remove an obstruction in his larynx. He took a stage win at the Tour of Turkey and went on to finish second to Adam Yates in the general classification. However, he was unable to replicate it in the summer and struggled at the Tour de France.
Taaramäe turned professional with Cofidis in 2008, when the team still competed at the top level. However, the team dropped to Pro Continental status in 2010. His best season to date came in 2011, when he finished 11th at the Tour de France, took the young rider’s jersey at Paris-Nice and Critérium International and won a stage of the Vuelta a España.
Taaramäe is currently competing at the Tour du Limousin, where he lies 11th in the general classification.