Haimar Zubeldia will ride for Team Astana in the coming season. The current Euskaltel rider signed a two-year contract with Johan Bruyneel's team, Astana announced Sunday. The team now has 19 riders for the upcoming season.
"Haimar is a perfect addition for our team," Bruyneel said. "He's a good time-trialist, can climb very well and will be an excellent all-around team-mate in the Grand Tours. A rider like Haimar who has finished in the top ten in numerous Grand Tours also has the ability to win some stages and races. He may be a veteran, but I think he has an exciting two years ahead of him with Team Astana.”
"The Astana Team is the best stage racing team in the world," according to Zubeldia. "I've always admired Johan Bruyneel's teams and to race for him and the best riders is a special honour. I am thankful for the past eleven years, but I'm also excited for the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”
Zubeldia, 31, turned pro with Euskaltel in 1998. He has finished in the top ten in the Tour de France in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In the year 2000, he finished tenth in the Vuelta a España, second in the Dauphiné Libéré and first overall in the Euskal Bizikleta.(SW)