|Vincenzo NIBALI||Lars BOOM||Michele SCARPONI||Jakob FUGLSANG||Rein TAARAMÄE||Andriy GRIVKO||Lieuwe WESTRA||Dmitriy GRUZDEV||Tanel KANGERT|
The capital of Kazakhstan gave its name to one of the leading cycling teams after the withdrawal in May 2006 of sponsor Liberty Seguros. The funding by various companies linked to the government of the former Soviet republic has since ensured the existence of the Astana team, which has often changed management and has experienced an eventful history.
Excluded from Le Tour 2007 after doping tests on its leader and founder Alexandre Vinokourov revealed positive results, the team underwent a probationary period before making its comeback on the race. However, during Le Tour 2009, the Kazakh team’s race was marked by a split into two clans: that of Alberto Contador, the eventual race winner, and that of Lance Armstrong, the star making his comeback. In 2010, the victory initially obtained by Contador was withdrawn by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following long legal proceedings. In 2011, Astana’s emblematic rider, Alexandre Vinokourov, who was due to bid farewell to Le Tour, broke a leg in the Cantal.
As a result, the Kazakh champion extended his send-off to prepare the future of a team representing a country that remains, despite all the upheavals, passionate about the Tour de France. Vincenzo Nibali, the brilliant winner of the Giro 2013 and Le Tour 2014 in the team’s turquoise colours, brought them back to centre stage. With the Italian rider, it is aiming for a second consecutive GC victory.
GC victories: 2
- 2009: Alberto Contador
- 2014: Vincenzo Nibali
Stage victories: 8
- 2009: team time-trial in Montpellier, Alberto Contador at Verbier and Annecy (time-trial)
- 2010: Alexandre Vinokourov at Revel
- 2014: Vincenzo Nibali at Sheffield, La Planche des belles filles, Chamrousse and Hautacam
Victories in secondary classifications: 1
- 2009: team classification
Yellow Jerseys: 32
- 2009: Alberto Contador, seven days
- 2010: Alberto Contador, six days
- 2014: Vincenzo Nibali, nineteen days
19: the days spent in yellow by Vincenzo Nibali in 2014.
24th July 2007: the entire Astana team is excluded from the Tour de France following a positive doping test on its leader, Alexandre Vinokourov.
7th July 2009: the stars of the moment (Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, etc.) give Astana victory in the team time-trial, before Contador goes on win the general classification.
6th July 2014: Vincenzo Nibali seizes control unexpectedly, in Sheffield, alone against the wind with the pack chasing him.