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New colours for Astana in 2008

Astana won't be feeling blue in 2008

Astana won't be feeling blue in 2008 (Image credit: AFP)

Team Astana will be starting from scratch in the coming season, with the announcement the squad would add new jerseys to a list of changes which includes new riders and management. After a disastrous 2007, which saw the Kazakh-backed squad ejected from the Tour de France after Alexandre Vinokourov's non-negative doping test, the squad has hired former Discovery Channel director Johan Bruyneel and star rider Alberto Contator to front a revived Astana in 2008.

"Even the team colours will change," Bruyneel told Sporza. "There will still have to be a bit of blue, but we will try to minimize it."

The Belgian said that they are very busy with the UCI license. "We have until November 20 to get everything in order, but it is all coming along," he said.

Bruyneel had originally intended to retire from cycling this year after Discovery Channel announced it would close its doors. "With Armstrong the last two years there was still the kick of winning the Tour, but the rest did not matter much," he explained. "This year was that way, too. Then, at a certain moment, you have to decide that it is enough."

"Now I have to build a team," added Bruyneel, excited by the prospect of the task ahead. "The construction of the team depends on me and on decisions which I did not take in former days."

Looking back, he added that signing Ivan Basso to Discovery Channel this year "was probably a mistake".

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