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Astana and Liquigas announced for 2012 Tour Down Under

The bunch lined up on the start line, which used the same course as the later Tour Down Under Cancer Council Classic

The bunch lined up on the start line, which used the same course as the later Tour Down Under Cancer Council Classic (Image credit: CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net)

The list of European riders heading to South Australia in January continues with the announcement of the Astana and Liquigas-Cannondale team line-ups for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under.

The Kazakh outfit will bring three new signings to the event, with Borut Bozic and Jacopo Guarnieri acting as the squad's new sprinters and Dmitriy Muravyev another candidate for the stage race's overall classification, together with Valentin Iglinskiy.

Race director Mike Turtur was looking forward to see how both teams performed. "They have always been very competitive here in the past, so in 2012, we are expecting no different," Turtur said. "Muravyev, Bozic and Guarnieri all join Astana for the 2012 season. Guarnieri was selected to add to the team's sprinting stocks, perhaps making him one to watch vying for points for the Jayco Sprint jersey. Moreover, we will expect Bozic to come out strong having had a taste for victory in 2011, with a stage win at the Tour de Suisse."

Joining them will be Assan Bazayev, who finished eighth in the 2010 Worlds.

Liquigas-Cannondale has assembled a mixed team of young and a mittle more experienced riders for the race, also including three newcomers to the squad, Stefano Agostini, Federico Canuti and Daniele Ratto.

Slovenian Kristijan Koren will be a rider to watch with the victory of the 2010 G.P. Città di Camaiore on his palmarès.

The full Liquigas-Cannondale team for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under will include Stefano Agostini, Alan Marangoni, Federico Canuti, Kristijan Koren, Daniele Ratto, Mauro Da Dalto and Fabio Sabatini.

Astana will line up with the following riders: Dmitriy Muravyev, Borut Bozic, Jacopo Guarnieri, Francesco Masciarelli, Assan Bazayev, Valentin Iglinskiy and Dmitriy Gruzdev.

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