Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, who finished third in this year's Tour de France, will ride for Astana in 2013 and 2014, the Kazakh team announced on Friday. The 27-year-old, the 2010 Tour de Spain winner, currently rides with the Liquigas team. He also finished twice on the podium in the Tour of Italy - third in 2010 and second in 2011.
Compatriot and teammate Alessandro Vanotti, 31, will also join Asana. "The arrival of Vincenzo and Alessandro will considerably reinforce our team for 2013 and 2014," said 38-year-old Astana rider Alexandre Vinokourov, who has just announced his retirement after winning the Olympic road race title in London.
THE TEAM RELEASE:
Pro Team Astana today announce the signing of leading riders Vincenzo Nibali & Alessandro Vanotti strengthening their line-up for 2013 and 2014.
Alexandr Vinokurov said: “The arrival of Vincenzo and Alessandro will strengthen our line-up for 2013 and 2014 considerably. We have worked hard to be in a position to sign these two great riders and now that the contract has been signed we are delighted to present them to the world. This is an exciting time for PRO TEAM ASTANA. Building from our successes this year across a range of events including; the Tour de France and the Olympics, we are working forward to ensure we are competitive for the 2013 and 2014 season and with the signing of Vincenzo and Alessandro to the team we certainly are on track to achieve our goals.”
Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli commented: “PRO TEAM ASTANA being able to attract talent of the calibre of Vincenzo Nibali & Alessandro Vanotti shows a real statement of intent for 2013 and 2014. Their arrival next season will strengthen our team, their talents complement our current stable of riders and i am sure fans of cycling will be as excited as we are about them joining the team.”