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Kessiakoff leaves Garmin for Astana

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Garmin - Transitions)

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Garmin - Transitions) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff has signed a two-year contract with the Astana team, leaving Garmin-Transitions after one year with the American squad.

The 30-year-old former mountain bike racer made the switch to a full-time road programme with Fuji-Servetto in 2009, catching the eye of Garmin's manager Jonathan Vaughters at the Tour of the Basque Country, where he placed eighth on the queen stage, and the Tour de Romandie where he finished ninth overall.

He inked a deal through the end of 2011 with Garmin, but had a rough transition, suffering from injuries and fatigue this season and having little luck getting results.

"I had to undergo a massive adaption, going from what I had been doing to a full ProTour career, and I am still learning what it takes," Kessiakoff told Cyclingnews.

"It was a mutual decision between me and the team. When Cervelo and Garmin came together, I was given the opportunity to leave the team - they needed to free up spots for the incoming riders, and I felt it was their way of saying that they weren't interested in keeping me."

After looking for teams at the same level, Kessiakoff was happy to be offered a two-year contract at Astana. While he will now be a competitor he still hopes to stay in touch with his former teammates.

"I will still be based in Girona, and I still consider them friends," he said.

Next season he will aim to get back to his normal level and focus on the Giro d'Italia, which he said would be a major goal for the team.