Aranburu and Felline to lead Astana – Premier Tech at the first Monument of the season
Astana – Premier Tech will line up at Milano – Sanremo with a group of motivated and experienced riders, where Basque rider Alex Aranburu and Italian Fabio Felline will spearhead the team for the first Monument of the season.
La Classicissima, also known as La Primavera, is the first of five Monuments on the cycling calendar. With a distance from 298km it is also the longest professional one-day race in cycling.
After sprinting to an impressive seventh place in his debut participation in 2020, Aranburu is relishing a leadership opportunity.
“I am looking forward to racing again at Milano – Sanremo. I have good memories from this race as I took seventh place last year. It’s an absolutely incredible race, a Monument, and it has a huge history. But it is also a nervous race. You need to concentrate the whole day, all 298km you need to be focused. I am proud and it’s an honour to lead the team, so I will try to give my best on Saturday. So far, I feel really good and had a good start to the season at the Opening Weekend in Belgium and also Tirreno – Adriatico went well. We have a good group of riders there and I hope luck will be on our side this weekend. Finishing it off with another top ten result would be amazing for me’’, – says Alex Aranburu.
Fabio Felline is looking to capitalize on his strong form after finish in fourth place in tough conditions on stage five of Tirreno – Adriatico.
“Milano – Sanremo is one of my favourite races, especially as an Italian rider, and the first Monument of the season is something special. I am coming from Tirreno – Adriatico with some good results and a good feeling. But I am aware that there are so many good riders who are lining up there, so I am realistic and hope to do my best possible race. I will be more than happy if I arrive at the final part, at the Cipressa and Poggio, in the first group with good legs and the power to try and do something then. If the team gives me the go ahead, then of course I will give my best”, – says Fabio Felline.
Although originally scheduled to race Milano – Sanremo, Alexey Lutsenko will not be at the start line in order to prioritize his recovery after crashing on the final day of Paris – Nice. Lutsenko was fortunate to not sustain any fractures however with the Belgian Classics in mind, he will forgo Milano – Sanremo to ensure he can recover completely.
“It is the first Monument of the cycling season so, of course, it is something special. It is a pity that Lutsenko cannot be on the start line, but he will come back stronger. With Alex we have a strong motivated leader with us, who showed already in Belgium and most recently in Tirreno – Adriatico that his form is already there. He finished last year in seventh place and the team will support him to aim for another top result in his palmarès on Saturday. We also saw a really strong Fabio Felline in Tirreno – Adriatico so he will give us another card to play. La Primavera is not an easy race, 298km long with some tricky points, so the riders need to be together and concentrate the whole race. As usual, it will all come down to the Cipressa and the Poggio, where a final move will make the difference of winning or losing”, – says Sports Director Stefano Zanini.
Rider roster: Alex Aranburu (ESP), Manuele Boaro (ITA), Fabio Felline (ITA), Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ), Gorka Izagirre (ESP), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Matteo Sobrero (ITA).
Sports Directors: Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA), Stefano Zanini (ITA)