"I'm really looking forward to my upcoming years at Bora-Hansgrohe, but I also want to say thanks for my time at Astana. They have been quite successful seasons and my first steps in professional cycling. However, now it's time for something new," Vlasov said in a statement on Monday.
Vlasov highlighted his potential in the Grand Tours when he placed 4th overall at this year’s Giro d’Italia. That result came after a consistent spring campaign, which had yielded podium finishes at both Paris-Nice and the Tour of the Alps. He is set to line out at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway in Burgos on Saturday.
The Russian joined Astana from Gazprom-RusVelo at the start of the 2020 season and he enjoyed a fine debut season with the team, winning the Giro dell’Emilia, the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, and a stage of the Tour de la Provence, as well as placing third at Il Lombardia.
"My focus is definitely on the Grand Tours. It will be about continuing to work hard with Bora-Hansgrohe to develop myself, because one day I hope to win one of the big three Grand Tours," Vlasov said.
"But I also think that I’ll have some chances in tough one-day races. I was already third at Il Lombardia and a victory in a Monument would of course be very nice. That may also be possible. The team and I have the same goals in mind and we’re also envisaging the path to arrive there. Now we just have to set upon this path together."
Bora-Hansgrohe’s roster is set to undergo a considerable overhaul in 2022 following Peter Sagan’s departure for Team TotalEnergies and Pascal Ackermann’s departure for UAE Team Emirates.
Last week, the team announced the return of Sam Bennett as well as the arrival of Jai Hindley and Sergio Higuita. Vlasov will join an existing stable of stage racing that includes Wilco Kelderman, Emanuel Buchmann and Max Schachmann.
Vlasov had been linked with a move to Team Ineos last winter, but Bora-Hansgrohe emerged as the leading contender for his signature in recent months.
"Aleksandr is certainly one of the biggest talents with respect to stage racing and we’re very pleased that he has decided to join us. As you know, there was interest from other teams," said Bora-Hansgrohe manager Ralph Denk.
"We will definitely set our sights on the Grand Tours with him. In the medium term, the goal is the Tour de France, yet he still has to learn and develop further, which might be easier at the Giro or Vuelta.
"Overall, we are now very broadly positioned in terms of GC riders, but that was also our goal. Each rider will receive his chances. I'm confident that we'll form a great team that will open up tactical possibilities and put us in a position to be right up there."
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