Today the Kazakh Cycling Federation officially revealed the new Astana structure for the 2008 season, continuing the commitment to support the only Kazakh team in the ProTour. Besides the official confirmation of Johan Bruyneel as the general manager of the team they also signed Frenchman Alain Gallopin as the head directeur sportif. Also, Astana will participate in the same anti-doping programme of Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard that CSC has already been using this season.
Bruyneel, who has won eight Tours de France as a directeur sportif, declared that "It was not an easy decision to return to cycling after my recent announcement in August, however, in my new role with Astana I have found new challenges and I am excited to help the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation grow the sport in the country." He added that "After the 2007 season, this team had no choice but to make big changes if it wanted to continue on, and I am proud to be the person they have chosen to lead this programme".
The Kazakh Cycling Federation emphasized that they "will have no connection at all to any of the team members implicated [in doping cases]," speaking of Matthias Kessler, Eddy Mazzoleni, Alexander Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin. This will include either direct or indirect contact.
The federation announced that under Bruyneel's guidance the team will strictly abide by the UCI Pro Team Code of Conduct as well as any and all anti-doping measures agreed to by the UCI or the Team's Union and will use the Damsgaard anti-doping system.
The chairman of the Kazakh Cycling Federation, Danial Akhmetov, noted that "Astana Pro Cycling Team is a national project. And we will by all means help it on to become one of the best professional cycling teams. I am fully convinced that our riders will occupy a worthy place in world's elite."
The roster for 2008 has not yet been finalized.
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