Gianni Moscon will join Astana in 2022, bringing an end to an often turbulent six-year spell at Ineos Grenadiers. The Italian has signed a two-year contract with Astana, where his new teammates will include Vincenzo Nibali.
“After six years spent in one team, I am going to take a serious step in my career. I think that this is a kind of challenge for me, motivation to keep on growing, and a new experience that I am sure will be successful,” Moscon said in a statement released by Astana on Wednesday.
“Over the years, I have managed to accumulate a lot of experience, and now I would like to use it to the fullest in a new team, in a new environment.”
Moscon’s victories at Sky and Ineos included the Tour of Guangxi, the Coppa Agostoni and Giro della Toscana in 2018, as well as two stages of this year’s Tour of the Alps. However his tenure at the team was also punctuated by controversy.
In 2017, Moscon was suspended by Team Sky after racially abusing Kevin Reza at the Tour de Romandie. Later that year, he was accused of causing Sebastien Reichenbach – a teammate of Reza at the time – to crash and break his elbow and hip, although he was later cleared due to a lack of evidence. Moscon was also disqualified from that year’s World Championships road race for holding onto a team car.
In 2018, Moscon was disqualified from the Tour de France for aiming a punch at Elie Gesbert on stage 15. In 2020, he was disqualified from Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne for throwing his bike at Jens Debusschere following a crash.
The 27-year-old raced sparingly when the 2020 season resumed following the coronavirus lockdown but he enjoyed a return to form this year, claiming a brace of stages at the Tour of the Alps and then making a belated Giro d’Italia debut, where he helped Egan Bernal to final overall victory. He added victory at the GP Lugano in June.
Moscon has been a mainstay of the Italian national team, placing fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire, and he was a part of Davide Cassani’s final squad at last Sunday’s Worlds in Leuven.
A powerful, versatile rider whose past results include fifth place at Paris-Roubaix and two national time trial titles, Moscon might enjoy greater freedom to enjoy personal success at an Astana squad undergoing a phase of rebuilding.
Alexandre Vinokourov has been restored as team manager and the roster is undergoing an overhaul for 2022, with Miguel Ángel López and David de la Cruz also expected to join the team alongside Nibali.
“In my first season in Astana, I hope to be as useful as possible to the team and, of course, I will strive to achieve some personal successes,” Moscon said.
“I hope that I will be able to perform in the best possible way at the races of the highest level. Together with the new team, General Manager Alexandre Vinokourov, the coaches and sports directors, we still have to discuss and make plans for the new season. There are a lot of big and important races on the calendar, so I hope that I can prove myself and achieve some serious results.”
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