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Fuglsang backed by 'strong and experienced' Astana team at Tour de France

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Jakob Fuglsang on the final Dauphine podium

Jakob Fuglsang on the final Dauphine podium (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Pello Bilbao (Astana)

Pello Bilbao (Astana) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Race leader Luis Leon Sanchez in the bunch during stage 5

Race leader Luis Leon Sanchez in the bunch during stage 5 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alexey Lutsenko talks with teammate Hugo Houle before the start

Alexey Lutsenko talks with teammate Hugo Houle before the start (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jakob Fuglsang needed and umbrella to stay dry on the stage 7 podium at Dauphine

Jakob Fuglsang needed and umbrella to stay dry on the stage 7 podium at Dauphine (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Critérium du Dauphiné winner Jakob Fuglsang will lead a strong Astana team at the Tour de France, with Alexey Lutsensko, Pello Bilbao and Gorka Izagirre among the supporting cast.

The eight-man roster is completed by Canada's Hugo Houle, Omar Fraile, Magnus Cort and Luis Leon Sanchez, giving the Kazakhstani team options for stage victories.

"With this strong and experienced team, we are ready to fight for the best possible result," Astana manager Dmitriy Fofonov said in a statement released by the team.

Although Fuglsang’s best-ever placing in a Grand Tour remains his 7th place on the 2013 Tour de France, he has added his name to the list of favourites for this year’s race after a remarkable sequence of performances and results so far in 2019.

Fuglsang soloed to victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April and finished on the podium at Strade Bianche, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Tirreno-Adriatico. The Dane also won the Ruta del Sol and a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico.

"In the end, only one can win the Tour de France, we will see what this team will be capable of. We are ready to fight for the best possible result, that's for sure," said Fofonov.

When Fuglsang won the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2017, he had to share leadership of Astana on the Tour with then teammate Fabio Aru. He was forced to abandon the race with a broken wrist on stage 13. This time out, Fuglsang will be the lone leader of a strong Astana squad, where his supporting cast will feature three riders who have won Tour stages – Fraile, Sanchez and Cort – as well as Bilbao, who landed two stage victories at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The 2019 Tour de France gets underway in Brussels on July 6.

Astana Pro Team for Tour de France: Jakob Fuglsang, Alexey Lutsensko, Pello Bilbao, Gorka Izagirre, Hugo Houle, Omar Fraile, Magnus Cort and Luis Leon Sanchez.