Andrey Zeits will join Mitchelton-Scott for the 2020 season, bringing the curtain down on a twelve-year spell with Astana. The Kazakhstani rider turned professional in 2008 and has started and finished 18 Grand Tours during his tenure at Astana.
A strong all-rounder, Zeits established himself as one of Astana's key domestiques during his time with the team. He helped Vincenzo Nibali to Giro d’Italia victory in 2013 and 2016, and was also in the Astana team that supported Fabio Aru when he won the Vuelta a España in 2015. The 32-year-old has one victory as a professional, a stage win on the 2015 Tour of Hainan.
"I have spent 12 years in Astana from the first year I became a professional and have worked with a lot of great Grand Tour riders, including Contador, Nibali, Aru, Landa and López," Zeits said in a statement on Wednesday.
"My speciality is Grand Tours. I have done 18 of them now and managed to finish them all. My body feels good for three weeks and I will be glad to share my knowledge and qualities with the team to achieve high places in general classification for my leaders."
After spending his entire career to this point at Astana, the move to Mitchelton-Scott marks a new departure for Zeits, who placed eigth in the road race at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the best result by a Kazakhstani rider outside of the medals won by Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov in 2000 and 2012.
"When I received an offer from Mitchelton-Scott, I thought seriously, why not?" Zeits said. "I have known about the existence of the team for a long time and for me personally this is an experience I haven’t seen yet. It will be all new to me."
Zeits has agreed a two-year deal with Mitchelton-Scott that will keep him at the Australian team until the end of the 2021 season.
Directeur sportif Matt White welcomed the arrival of a rider who will bolster the supporting cast around Simon Yates, Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves in the Grand Tours.
"Andrey is a no frills, hard worker," White said.
"He has done 18 Grand Tours in 12 years with Astana, and he has been a big part of the success they have had during that time. He comes with a wealth of experience on a team that knows how to win stage races and he will be a very valuable asset to us as we continue to build our depth in Grand Tours and WorldTour stage races."