Aleksandr Vlasov to aim for Grand Tour podium as Astana try to stop departure to Ineos

Ineos Grenadiers are circling the young Russian who has one year left on his contract with the Kazakh team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

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"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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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.