Astana, just five days after winning the Tour de France with Vincenzo Nibali, announced a round of signings to strengthen the team for 2015. The Kazakh team in turquoise signed Lars Boom, Luis León Sánchez, Davide Malacarne and Diego Rosa.
The team of Alexander Vinokourov wanted Boom two years ago before he re-signed with Rabobank/Belkin, but were only able to get the Dutchman now after he won the Paris-Roubaix cobbled stage of the Tour de France. Since Kazakhstan's most direct investments from Europe come from The Netherlands and the 2015 Tour de France begins in Utrecht, Boom made sense.
Spain's Sánchez won stages in the Tour de France, the Paris-Nice overall and twice the Clásica San Sebastián but was forced to join second division team Caja Rural-Seguros for 2014 after Belkin cut ties with him because of his links to the Operación Puerto doping case.
“Boom is a classics rider as well as a Grand Tour team-mate, and won stage five this year at the Tour de France in conditions not seen on the pavé in more than a decade," Vinokourov said “Malacarne and Rosa are strong Italian riders who can help Fabio Aru in stage races“
Boom and Rosa, now with Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, signed for two years, and Sánchez and Davide Malacarne, with team Europcar, for one year.
Astana also welcomed three Kazakh stagiaires who will begin riding this month through the end of 2014: Maksat Ayazbaev, Bakhtiyar Kozhataev and Ilya Davidenok.
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Lars Boom - rider profile, biog, results and photos
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