Astana look to finish season in style at Vuelta

Following an impressive showing at the Tour de France, Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) is expected to be just as good at the Vuelta a España when it begins in Pamplona this Saturday.

The Swede recently re-signed for Astana off the back of a gallant performance in his Tour de France debut, wearing the polka dot jersey on seven stages in a fierce battle with Frenchman Thomas Voeckler (Europcar). He also earned the red dossard of most combative rider on Stage 8.

At the Vuelta, he will have increased support from Giro d’Italia stage winner, Paolo Tiralongo.

"There are a lot of contenders for victory at the Vuelta, but we are up there with them," explained team manager Giuseppe Martinelli. "After his good results at the Tour, here Fredrik Kessiakoff will be able to call on the top-class support of Paolo Tiralongo to try and do even better."

"I am expecting a good performance from Assan Bazayev, who has definitely still got something to show after his win in the Kazakh Championships," he continued. "Then there is Enrico Gasparotto, who will not only be giving it his best for us, but also for a call-up to the national team in the World Championships."

Gasparotto won the Amstel Gold Race earlier this year then finished third at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

"Basically, we’ve got all the boxes ticked," concluded Martinelli, "so there is nothing left to do but to give it everything we've got and try to finish the season in style."

Astana’s full line up for the Vuelta a España is: Fredrik Kessiakoff, Andrey Kashechkin, Assan Bazayev, Alexandr Dyachenko, Enrico Gasparotto, Kevin Seeldraeyers, Egor Silin, Paolo Tiralongo, and Andrey Zeits.

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