Aleksandr Vlasov has announced himself as of the best climbers in the pro peloton after an amazing first WorldTour season with Astana, which has attracted attention from super-team Ineos Grenadiers who looked to sign him before the end of his contract in 2022.
However, with renewed investment as the Kazakh team become Astana - Premier Tech for the 2021 season, the team will look to convince the Russian to stay, while aiming to place him on a Grand Tour podium this year.
"I personally think it is wise for Aleksandr to stay with us," Astana-Premier Tech CEO, Yana Seel, told Wielerflits.
"He is still very young and at the start of his career. He got married quite recently and his private life is also very important to him at the moment. Aleksandr is a very capable and smart rider.
"He is doing very well, not just on the sports side. He also amazes us as a young rider on an organisational level. Aleksandr takes his responsibility strongly."
Astana-Premier Tech will be hoping to hang onto Vlasov, especially after losing Miguel Ángel López to Movistar due to financial issues before their new backing arrived.
The 24-year-old is contracted with the Kazakh team until the end of 2021 but, much like Ineos Grenadiers did with Andrey Amador from Movistar Team and Egan Bernal from Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, the British team are said to have tried to get the Russian climber to move across early, with Vlasov having the same agent as both Amador and Bernal, Giuseppe Acquadro.
At Astana, Vlasov only has Jakob Fuglsang to compete with for top billing at the biggest races, whereas Ineos' stacked squad numbers four Grand Tour winners in Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart, as well as talented newcomers in Daniel Martínez, Adam Yates and Richie Porte.
Vlasov will be looking to replicate his 2020 form, during which he won the Mont Ventoux Dénivéle Challenge, came third at Il Lombardia, fifth at Tirreno-Adriatico before taking 11th overall at the Vuelta a España.
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