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Aru ready for Tour de France leadership with Astana in 2016

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A happy Fabio Aru following the Vuelta's final stage.

A happy Fabio Aru following the Vuelta's final stage.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Astana's Fabio Aru and Alessandro Vanotti

Astana's Fabio Aru and Alessandro Vanotti
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali shake hands

Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali shake hands
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Fabio Aru (Astana)

Fabio Aru (Astana)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru compare their sun tans

Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru compare their sun tans
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru either side of Giuseppe Martinelli

Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru either side of Giuseppe Martinelli
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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2015 Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru (Astana)

2015 Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru (Astana)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Twelve months ago, when the Astana team gathered for its first training camp in Montecatini Terme, in Tuscany, Fabio Aru was still considered a future star of the team and a possible contender for the Giro d'Italia. A year on, with the 25-year-old Sardinian having won the Vuelta a Espana and finished second at the Giro d'Italia, he is now considered a team leader along with Vincenzo Nibali and has been rewarded with even more responsibility and expectation for 2016.

Aru has been given the role of Astana team leader for the Tour de France and the Ardennes Classics, with Nibali forced to accept that he no longer calls all the shots when it comes to the Grand Tours. Alexandre Vinokourov has insisted that Nibali will target the Giro d'Italia and he will then have to play a secondary role to Aru in France in July.