Astana – Premier Tech presents co-owner and goals for 2021
Today, Astana – Premier Tech presented the team’s co-owner as well as their goals and leaders’ calendar for the upcoming season during an official team presentation online during their team camp in Benidorm, Spain.
Starting its 16th season at the highest level of the sport, the team is delighted to announce that Premier Tech not only stepped up as co-sponsor but also, the Canadian company became the co-owner of the team, in equal parts with Kazakhstan. For Premier Tech it was the next step in its long-standing commitment towards professional cycling.
This new co-ownership strengthens our involvement and our support towards the riders and the entire Astana – Premier Tech team. Our commitment also allows Canada to strengthen its presence as an important stakeholder at the highest level of road cycling. Our co-ownership with Kazakhstan really paves the way for the next generation of Canadian professional riders.
Jean Bélanger, president and chief executive officer of Premier Tech.
I am very excited to start our collaboration with Premier Tech as our co-owner. It is something special, as it is the first time in the team’s history to welcome an international company as a stakeholder in equal parts with our Kazakh stakeholder. Having these two parties on board, gives me, and the team, strength and confidence about our long-term future as well as the possibility to both once step up to the professional UCI WorldTeam level and, at the same time, progress our business model, which will give us a chance to provide the best conditions for our athletes to shine on the podium.
Yana Seel, Managing Director of Astana – Premier Tech. – Yana Seel, Managing Director of Astana – Premier Tech
To underline the new union the team changed its design to represent the Kazakh-Canadian combination.
Furthermore, the Kazakh-Canadian team announced its goals of the season. As in the previous years the main focus will be victories at the Grand Tours as well as the stage races.
Kazakh Champion Alexey Lutsenko will start his season in France at the Tour de la Provence followed by the UAE Tour and Milano- San Remo. One of his season highlights will be Belgium, with the Cobblestone Classics, E3, Gent-Welvegem and Tour of Flanders, where the young Kazakh rider will try to find his place at the iconic Northern Classics before also riding Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Lutsenko’s second season highlight will be the Tour de France followed by the Olympic Games, representing Kazakhstan in Tokyo.
I will start the season with Tour de la Provence and the UAE Tour. Later, we will see if I take part at Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico. My goal is to already be in good shape when I start the season, as the last season showed us that we cannot always wait for the right moment, and there is always the possibility that the race gets canceled or postponed. Therefore, I want to use every race to achieve the best possible result. But, if the season returns back to one we all are used to, then my focuses are the Classics, the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.
Teammate Jakob Fuglsang will start, as in the last years, at the Ruta del Sol, targeting a hat-trick of overall victories. The Danish rider will take to the start line of the Italian spring races, Tour of Flanders and Itzulia Basque Country as preparation towards his first season highlights, the Ardennes Classics before returning to the Tour de France. He will use the Tour de France as preparation for his main goal of the season, the Olympic Games.
My first highlight of the season will be the Ardennes Classics, with the Italian spring races as preparation. After that, and an altitude camp, I will take on the Tour de France to get ready for the Olympic Games, where I hope to change Rios Silver into Tokyo’s Gold medal. Of course, it will be great to collect at least one stage win at the Tour de France, but my main focus will be the Olympic Road Race. I am happy with my calendar and think the Tour route, like the parcours in Tokyo, suits me to achieve something great.
Aleksandr Vlasov starts his second season with the Kazakh-Canadian team like teammate Lutsenko, at the Tour de la Provence followed by Paris-Nice before turning his attention to his season highlight, the Giro d`Italia. The young Russian rider will try to reach the Top 5 of the general classification at the Corsa Rosa.
Like last year, I will start my 2021 season with Tour de la Provence followed by Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice. After those races, I will start to prepare with an altitude camp, and my participation at the Tour of the Alps, for my main goal of the season, the Giro d`Italia. I already got a taste of Grand Tours at last year´s Giro, which was not the Grand Tour start I was hoping for, and the Vuelta. I am really motivated to return to Italy and try to give my best. Beside the Giro d`Italia, the Olympic Games are an event to focus on.
The Basque Country rider Ion Izagirre rolls off the start ramp at Valenciana and Ruta del Sol, before focusing on his home race, Pais Vasco. After the Ardennes Classics and the Critérium du Dauphine, Izagirre will start at the Tour de France, targeting at least one stage win.
I am going to start my season here, in Valencia, with the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, followed by the Ruta del Sol and Paris-Nice. It is a good way to start the season before one of my main goals Itzulia Basque Country. The Ardennes Classic aren’t decided yet, we are expecting our third child so my priority is my family at that time. In summer I will take on the Tour de France, which I am looking forward to it but main goal of the season will be my home race, Itzulia Basque Country. We won the race in 2019 and I would love to repeat it.
It was a difficult season, but I think we can be happy with our results. We managed to achieve 15 victories, three at the Grand Tours and one monument. I think, we represented our team in the best way possible. For the upcoming season, we signed eight new riders. All are quite young, but we believe in our young talents and we will carefully include them into our UCI World Tour calendar after a good start with us at the team camp. Our goal is to win a Grand Tour again, maybe we can realise this aim already this year at the Giro d´Italia, we will see.
31 riders roster of Astana Premier Tech:
Alex ARANBURU; Samuele BATTISTELLA; Manuele BOARO; Gleb BRUSSENSKIY; Stefan DE BOD; Rodrigo CONTRERAS; Yevgeniy FEDOROV; Fabio FELLINE; Omar FRAILE; Jakob FUGLSANG; Yevgeniy GIDICH; Jonas GREGAARD WILSLY; Dmitriy GRUZDEV; Hugo HOULE; Gorka IZAGIRRE; Ion IZAGIRRE; Merhawi KUDUS; Alexey LUTSENKO; Davide MARTINELLI; Yuriy NATAROV; Benjamin PERRY; Andrea PICCOLO; Vadim PRONSKIY; Oscar RODRIGUEZ; Javier ROMO; Luis Leon SANCHEZ; Matteo SOBRERO; Nikita STALNOV; Harold TEJADA; Aleksandr VLASOV; Artyom ZAKHAROV.
Sports Directors of the team:
Dmitriy FOFONOV; Steve BAUER; Bruno CENGHIALTA; Giuseppe MARTINELLI; Dmitriy MURAVYEV; Sergey YAKOVLEV; Stefano ZANINI