Astana Pro Team held a special team presentation in Calpe, Spain, on Saturday to celebrate what will be their 15th season in the pro peloton.
The Kazakh team unveiled a slightly modified kit for the 2020 campaign, as well as confirming the race programmes of their star riders.
Alexey Lutsenko, the Kazakh road race champion and the team's biggest 'home' rider, will lead the line at the spring Classics and will join Lopez at the Tour before also aiming for the gold medal in Tokyo.
With less than a week separating the end of the Tour de France and the Olympic road race in Japan, Fuglsang had toyed with the idea of skipping the Tour completely, but he will be there to support Lopez and build his form back up. If he's to try and defend his Liege-Bastogne-Liege title in April, it will be a busy few months for the Dane.
"The Giro is one of the most beautiful races in the calendar and I have some great memories back in 2016 when we won it together with the team," said Fuglsang, referring to Vincenzo Nibali's dramatic victory.
"Actually, it is going to be my first time as the team’s leader in this race and it is a big honour and at the same time a big challenge for me."
Lopez turned pro in 2015 but has yet to ride the Tour de France. In 2017 he finished 8th at the Vuelta a España before making the podium of both the Giro and Vuelta in 2018 and then placing in the top 10 at both races again this year.
"It will be a big challenge for me, but I will do my best to come there in top form and to perform as well as possible," Lopez said. "Also, I am sure, I will have a strong and motivated team next to me. Of course, there is still a long way until the start of the Tour, and I will have other big goals before it. I am really motivated to start this season in a good way and to get some nice results before the Tour de France."
Fuglsang, Lopez, and Lutsenko were all present in Calpe as the 2020 squad was presented by team manager and former rider Alexander Vinokourov. A highlights reel of the past 14 seasons was played with commemorative plaques on the wall from each season.
The team also unveiled a special jersey for the 15th season. Still made by Giordana, the overall light blue design remains unchanged from last season, but the back of the jersey commemorates the team's biggest achievements.
The outlines of the maps of Italy, France, and Spain are there in the colours of the leader's jerseys from the respective Grand Tours, marking three Giro titles (2008 -
Alberto Contador, 2013 and 2016 - both Nibali), two Tour titles (2009 - Contador, 2014 - Nibali), and three Vuelta titles (2006 - Vinokourov, 2008 - Contador, 2015 - Fabio Aru). The Olympic rings are also there to mark Vinokorouv's gold medal in the road race in London in 2012.
The front of the jersey also sees the addition of a secondary sponsor, with Premier Tech stepping up its investment and signing up for another three years.
"Today we are starting our 15th season. A long way has been done so far and we have achieved many big goals. But I am sure, that many great and amazing things are still lying further ahead," said Vinokourov.
"We are starting the new season completely ready and high motivated for something more. I would like to congratulate all Astana Pro Team on a very beautiful and successful season we had in 2019 and I’d like to wish the guys to reach even bigger successes in the upcoming year. I thank all our sponsors for staying next to us in the new season and for supporting our ambitious sports project."
Astana's 2020 roster
- Alexander Aranburu (ESP)
- Zhandos Bizhigitov (KAZ)
- Manuele Boaro (ITA)
- Hernando Bohorquez (COL)
- Rodrigo Contreras (COL)
- Laurens De Vreese (BEL)
- Fabio Felline (ITA)
- Daniil Fominykh (KAZ)
- Omar Fraile (ESP)
- Jakob Fuglsang (DEN)
- Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ)
- Jonas Gregaard Wilsly (DEN)
- Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
- Hugo Houle (CAN)
- Ion Izagirre (ESP)
- Gorka Izagirre (ESP)
- Miguel Angel Lopez (COL)
- Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ)
- Davide Martinelli (ITA)
- Merhawi Kudus (ERI)
- Yuriy Natarov (KAZ)
- Vadim Pronskiy (KAZ)
- Oscar Rodriguez (ESP)
- Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP)
- Nikita Stalnov (KAZ)
- Harold Tejada (COL)
- Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS)
- Artyom Zakharov (KAZ)
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