Nurbergen Nurlykhassym to turn professional with Astana Qazaqstan Team
The reigning U23 Kazakhstan Road Race Champion Nurbergen Nurlykhassym is set to join UCI WorldTour Astana Qazaqstan Team in the upcoming season. The 21-year-old rider signed his first ever professional contract for two years (2022 and 2023).
“I am really happy and excited with a big step in my career, which I am going to do very soon. The move to the WorldTour together with our Astana Qazaqstan Team is a dream which is coming true. I spent quite a good season at the youth level, but I realize that the UCI WorldTour is a completely different level of races, preparation and goals. I am grateful to Alexandr Vinokurov for the chance I was granted with. I will do my best to repay the trust. In my mind, I am already in the new season, which I am going to start in the best team side by side with the best riders, many of those I was cheering for since my childhood. The new chapter of my career is set to start soon, and I am looking forward to meeting the team at the first training camp”, – said Nurbergen Nurlykhassym.
Nurbergen Nurlykhassym already gained some important experience at the prestigious youth races all around Europe, where he represented the National Team of Kazakhstan both at the Junior and U23 World Road Championships, as well as the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia and the Tour de l’Avenir.
This season, Nurbergen took an important solo win in the road race of the U23 Kazakhstan National Championships. The podium places at the Junior National Champs, fourth place at a stage of Baltyk – Karkonosze Tour (2019) and ninth place in the General Classification of the Tour de DMZ are among his youth career highlights.
“This summer Nurbergen impressed us with his solid win at the Kazakhstan National Championships, as well as with good performances at the Tour de l’Avenir and the U23 World Championships held on tough “Northern Classic” roads. In this rider we see good potential and, there is no doubt that he deserves a chance to test himself at the WorldTour level. There is a huge amount of work to be done and there is some serious experience to be gained, but I see a motivated and dedicated rider and I think he can succeed. We are going to create a strong, ambitious team, which will set some important goals in the upcoming season, so I believe that Nurlykhassym will be able to fit l into this roster well”, – said Alexandr Vinokurov, General Manager of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
“Nurbergen is a promising young athlete and the U23 Champion of Kazakhstan. This year, he demonstrated some good results, but also proved himself as a purposeful athlete. Of course, the UCI WorldTour is a different level, and he has a lot to learn, but I think this chance will provide him with the new goals and opportunities to develop properly in order to grow into a good professional cyclist. The arrival of Nurlykhasym to the WorldTour is another vivid example of fruitful cooperation between Kazakhstan Cycling Federation and Astana Qazaqstan Team. We will continue to work on finding new young talents and creating all the necessary conditions for their development”, – said Nurlan Smagulov, President of Kazakhstan Cycling Federation.