Kazakhstan | Team Website

Astana is a team that would have gladdened the hearts of the people behind the UCI’s original globalisation project: a Kazakh squad, led by an Italian and a Dane.

Unfortunately, the impression is that the team is less a model of international harmony than a conversation between parties who don’t quite speak each others’ language.

Despite that, Italian Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 Tour de France after finishing third overall in the 2012 edition and claiming the Giro d’Italia victory in 2013.

The team has successfully nurtured a new Grand Tour talent in the shape of Fabio Aru, who won the 2015 Vuelta a España after placing second in the Giro behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) earlier in the year. With two strong Grand Tour contenders on the books, the squad can comfortably field a viable contender in each of the three-week stage races.

Astana has also found success in one-day races and individual stages, with Lars Boom, Andrea Guardini, Paolo Tiralongo and Diego Rosa all claiming victories in recent seasons.

Astana’s success, however, has been tempered by controversy, including several doping cases within the team in recent years, with Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy both failing tests for banned blood booster EPO in late 2014.

The UCI conducted a review into the team and its management, and while the team’s WorldTour status looked in jeopardy, it was awarded a licence for 2015.

neo pros

Seven top WorldTour neo-pros of 2015

This 2015 season showed that the new professional cyclists can not only fit in, but also ride side by side and win against their WorldTour colleagues. Belgian Tiesj Benoot placed…

Mikel Landa makes his winning attack on stage 16 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Team Sky confirm Mikel Landa signing

The signings just keep on coming for Team Sky, with Astana’s Mikel Landa becoming the fifth rider to join the British team in the last week and sixth in total. The…

Astana manager Alexandre Vinokourov

Cycling quiz: Alexander Vinokourov in 14 questions

Alexander Vinokourov is a well known name in professional cycling, and an infamous name at that. His riding career was marked by Classics wins and Grand Tour stage victories, but…


The many different faces of Fabio Aru

It’s quite a coincidence that Astana rider Fabio Aru looks a fair bit like former Labour leader Ed Milliband, given his tendancy to be photographed at the most inopportune moments.…

Tour de France 2015 - Team Presentation

Astana ejected from MPCC over doping issues

Astana have been removed from the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) after allowing Lars Boom to start the Tour de France with low cortisol levels. The Kazakh WorldTour team had…