Kazakh Dmitri Fofonov steps up to replace Giuseppe Martinelli as Astana's team manager, with the Italian set to work as a sports director in 2016

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Former Cofidis and Credit Agricole rider Dmitri Fofonov will replace Giuseppe Martinelli as Astana team manager in 2016, with the 60-year-old Italian stepping down from the leading role.

Fofonov, who rode with Astana owner Alexandre Vinokourov at the Kazakh team between 2010 and 2012, has worked with the team as an assistant in recent years and his promotion was announced at the team presentation this weekend.

The 39-year-old Kazakh rode professionally between 1998 and 2012, with his most notable results being stage wins at the 2002 Volta a Catalunya and the 2008 Critérium du Dauphiné.

While at Credit Agricole, Fofonov tested positive for the stimulant Heptaminol after finishing 18th in the Tour de France in 2008. He was fired by his team and suspended for three months, returning with Astana when his ban ended.

Martinelli will reportedly work as a directeur sportif next season, with Astana targeting Grand Tour victories with Vincenzo Nibali – who will lead the Giro d’Italia – and Fabio Aru – the chosen man for the Tour de France in 2016.