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Abakoumov returns to Jartazi

By Susan Westemeyer

Igor Abakoumov will leave Team Astana and return to his former team, Jartazi-Mitsubishi, for 2008, he announced yesterday. The naturalised Belgian citizen, who was born in Ukraine, will join Frank Vandenbroucke at the Belgian Professional Continental team.

On his website, the 26 year-old said that the reached his decision after long discussions and reaching an agreement with Johan Bruyneel, the 2008 Team Manager for Astana.

Abakoumov turned pro with Chocolade Jacques in 2004, and rode for Jartazi for two years before changing to Astana last season. In his career, he has won a stage of the Tour de l'Ain and was on the podium in Nokere Koerse and the GP Wallonie.

Jartazi will hold a training camp in the south of France from January 7 to 16, before opening its season with the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise on February 3.