Astana has named its nine riders for the Tour de France, confirming the presence of Alexandre Vinokourov in the team.
As expected, the nine-rider squad has built with the aim to help Alberto Contador win a third Tour de France. It includes experienced riders such as Vinokourov, Italian domestique Paolo Tiralongo and the Ukraine's Andriy Grivko, plus Spaniards David De la Fuente, Jesus Hernandez, Benjamin Noval and Daniel Navarro.
2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro is not in the final nine. He has been training at altitude with Contador on the Sierra de Madrid but will likely target the Vuelta Espana in September.
"The Team Astana that will support Alberto Contador on the roads of the Tour de France is the result of collective teamwork. The team that will be in Rotterdam on the 3rd of July is a strong, united group full of different qualities," Team manager Yvon Sanquer said in a statement.
"Along with the experienced Alexander Vinokourov, all the other seven riders will work to support Alberto Contador with their combined strength. They are ready to help him in the mountains stages and on the flat stages, all the way to Paris on the 25th of July."
Final altitude training, Bordeaux visit
Contador opted not to ride the Spanish national road championships this week. Instead he headed to altitude for a final week of mountain training in the Sierra de Madrid and then on Sunday traveled to Bordeaux to study the final time trial stage of the Tour de France.
On one ride, Contador climbed to the summit of the Bola del Mondo, the highest point in the Sierra de Madrid at 2247 metres.
“I'm very happy with the work we have done both myself and all my teammates. I want to thank all the members of the team for the great work they have done,” Contador said.
The nine riders in the Astana Tour de France team are: Alberto Contador (Spa), Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), David De la Fuente (Spa), Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Jesus Hernandez (Spa), Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Daniel Navarro (Spa), Benjamin Noval (Spa) and Paolo Tiranlongo (Ita).