The Astana team has announced the signings of Lars Boom, Luis Leon Sanchez, Diego Rosa and Davide Malacarne as it continues to strengthen its Classics and Grand Tour line-ups in support of Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali and fellow Italian Fabio Aru.
Boom was apparently a target for Team Sky but the Dutchman, who won stage five of the Tour de France on the cobbles to Arenberg, will leave the Belkin team and has agreed a two-year deal to ride in the sky-blue Astana colours.
Sanchez has signed a one-year contract with Astana. He is riding with the Spanish Caja Rural Professional Continental team this season after being dropped by the Belkin team in 2013 following links to a number of doping scandals and investigations. Sanchez rode with Astana team manager Alexandre Vinokourov at the Liberty Seguros team in 2006 before the explosion of the Operacion Puerto doping investigation.
25-year-old Diego Rosa will join Astana from the Androni Giocattoli team, while Davide Malacarne joins from Europcar. Both have Grand Tour experience.
“Boom is a classics rider as well as a Grand Tour teammate, and won stage five this year at the Tour de France in conditions not seen on the pave in more than a decade. Malacarne and Rosa are strong Italian riders who can help Fabio Aru in stage races,"
Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandre Vinokourov said in a statement announcing the signings.
Astana has also announced it will take on three stagiaire riders from the Astana Continental Team to race through the end of the 2014 season: Maksat Ayazbaev, Bakhtiyar Kozhataev and Ilya Davidenok.
Davidenok recently won the overall general classification at the Tour of Qinghai Lake in China, Kozhataev has shown consistent top-five finish capability in races for the past two seasons and Ayazbaev will start the upcoming Tour of Denmark in support of Jakob Fuglsang.