Days after it was announced that Astana would partner up with the BePink women’s team, the new squad was launched in Rezzato, Italy yesterday.
The team had their presentation alongside the Astana WorldTour team at the Villa Fenaroli. Their star rider is the two-time Italian time trial champion, Noemi Cantele. In addition to the roster that was announced at the beginning of this year, three Kazakh riders have been taken on.
Former World and Olympic time trial champion Zulfiya Zabirova was one of the driving forces behind it and she was happy to finally see it come to fruition. "For a couple of years that I have in mind to create a project like this and finally I succeeded," the former rider told Tuttobiciweb.
"It's a young team, well organized, with a mix of athletes with great depth, and where our girls of Kazakhstan will only grow and improve."
Like the men's Astana team, they are looking to grow young talent in Kazakhstan while performing on the world stage. They will continue to be managed by Walter Zini, who lead the team last year, but Zabirova joins the team as a directeur sportif.
The 10-time national time trial champion has high hopes for the future. "We would like to have a structure like the men's team," said Zabirova. "The ultimate goal is the Olympic Games of Rio 2016, to which we hold a lot. I rode the Games four times and I can assure you that no other race has the same value."
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