Sunday, 16 August 2009

Astana Announce Team for the Tour of Ireland

The Astana team has announced the line up for this year’s Tour of Ireland, in association with Fáilte Ireland. Lance Armstrong will head up a seven man team of young talent and seasoned professionals which is sponsored by the capital city of Kazakhstan. The team features three of the team that rode this year’s Tour De France and won the best team prize.

Yaroslav Popovych is a very experienced professional having ridden all three Grand Tours including this year’s Tour de France where Armstrong finished in third place on the podium next to his team mate and race winner Alberto Contador. Popovych won the young rider classification in the Tour de France in 2005 and he finished 12th overall.

Haimar Zubeldia from Spain is certainly no stranger to stage races having ridden the Tour de France nine times. He was part of this year’s team who won the stage 4 team time trial.

Janez Brajkovic is the current Slovenian time trial champion who rode the Giro d’Italia with Armstrong this year finishing 18th overall. He also won the Tour of Georgia in 2007 and is a triple Military World Time Trial Champion. Michael Schar is a talented 23-year-old from Switzerland who is a triple National Time Trial champion at Junior and Under-23 levels.

Jose Luis Rubiera is the team climber who can be relied on for team support when the road starts to rise. He has ridden 20 Grand Tours and won two stages of the Giro d’Italia. Jesús Hernádez is the daily training mate of Tour winner Alberto Contador. He didn’t race in 2008 but has made a strong comeback in 2009. He started the season very early with Armstrong in the Tour Down Under. Armstrong calls him ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’.

The full team line up is:

Armstrong, Lance USA Brajkovic, Janez SLO

Hernández, Jesús ESP Schar, Michael SUI

Popovych, Yaroslav UKR Rubiera, Jose Luis ESP

Zubeldia, Haimar ESP

No comments:

Post a Comment