Guardini joins Fuglsang in move to Astana

The Astana team today confirmed the signing of Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, adding that Italian Andrea Guardini will also move to the team on a two-year contract.

Guardini joins his compatriots Enrico Gasparotto and Maxim Iglinskiy, who won in the Ardennes Classics this season for Astana, and new Italian recruits Vincenzo Nibali, Alessandro Vanotti and neo-pro Fabio Aru. Fuglsang inked a three-year deal with the team.

"We have taken on Guardini because we want to compete on all fronts, and he is without doubt the sprinter we were missing. He is young, but in two years as a professional with Farnese he has already picked up 21 wins," said team manager Giuseppe Martinelli. "I am sure he will rise to new and more important achievements from next year onwards."

Guardini, 23, spent his first two full professional seasons with the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team, and has proven to be a prolific sprint winner. In addition to his first Grand Tour stage win at the Giro d'Italia (stage 18 to Vedelago), he has racked up multiple stages of the Tour of Qinghai Lake, Presidential Tour of Turkey and 11 wins in the Tour de Langkawi.

Fuglsang comes to the team after a contentions stint with the RadioShack-Nissan team. The Dane was left off the team's Tour de France squad despite having won the Tour of Luxembourg. He went on to take the overall victory in the Tour of Austria.

"Our agreement with Fuglsang is a cornerstone of Pro Team Astana's strategy for 2013," Martinelli said. "With him, Nibali and Brajkovic, we have got three excellent leaders for competing in next year's three Grand Tours. He is still a young rider who can give his best in our team.

"Pro Team Astana is building a fantastic team, and it will be up to the riders and all the staff to repay the faith that has been shown in us."

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