Kazakhstan | Team Website

Astana Qazaqstan Team

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Astana Qazaqstan Team is a team that would have gladdened the hearts of the people behind the UCI’s original globalisation project: a Kazakh squad, led by an Italian and a Dane.

Since appearing on the scene in 2007, the squad has become a mainstay of the top-flight, with a host of wins in the world's biggest races.

Most notably, Italian Vincenzo Nibali won the 2014 Tour de France after finishing third overall in the 2012 edition and claiming the Giro d'Italia victory in 2013.

The team also successfully nurtured a new Grand Tour talent in the shape of Fabio Aru, who won the 2015 Vuelta a España after placing second in the Giro behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) earlier in the year.

However, with Nibali moving to Bahrain-Merida in 2017 and Aru to UAE Team Emirates in 2018, the squad lacked a Grand Tour leader. Nibali is back for the 2022 season though, with four-time 2021 race winner Miguel Ángel López also joining him to make the squad considerably stronger. 

Alexey Lutsenko, who was already with the team before this year, and Gianni Moscom, joining from Ineos Grenadiers, will act as team leaders alongside the aforementioned Nibali and López for the 2022 season. 

Astana are hoping these additions to the team will help rediscover the form that saw them climb to such meteoric heights some years ago now, after the team finished an underwhelming twelfth in the UCI World team ranking for 2021.

Just three top-ten finishes in the Classics and Monuments last year highlights the team's lack of strength at fighting for podiums at cycling's most prestigious races, but Aleksandr Vlasov's fourth-place finish in the Giro d'Italia GC did provide reason for optimism within the team, but the Russian has since departed for Bora-Hansgrohe.

Sponsored by the Samruk-Kazyna, a coalition of Kazakhstani state-owned companies, and named its capital city Astana (now renamed Nur-Sultan), Premier Tech left the team at the end of 2021 due to financial reasons. They have now been renamed as Astana Qazaqstan Team. 

Astana's success has been tempered by controversy over the years too, including several doping cases within the team, including Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy both failing tests for banned blood booster EPO in late 2014. The UCI conducted a review into the team and its management, and while the team's WorldTour status looked in jeopardy, it was awarded a licence for 2015.

Astana Qazaqstan Team 2022 squad

Leonardo Basso (ITA)
Samuele Battistella (ITA)
Manuele Boaro (ITA)
Gleb Brussenskiy (KAZ)
Valerio Conti (ITA)
Stefan de Bod (RSA)
David de la Cruz (ESP)
Joe Dombrowski (USA)
Yevgeniy Fedorov (KAZ)
Fabio Felline (ITA)
Michele Gazzoli (ITA)
Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ)
Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ)
Sebastián Henao (COL)
Miguel Ángel López (COL)
Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ)
Davide Martinelli (ITA)
Gianni Moscon (ITA)
Yuriy Natarov (KAZ)
Antonio Nibali (ITA)
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
Nurbergen Nurlykhassym (KAZ)
Vadim Pronskiy (KAZ)
Alexandr Riabushenko (BLR)
Javier Romo (ESP)
Harold Tejada (COL)
Simone Velasco (ITA)
Artyom Zakharov (KAZ)
Andrey Zeits (KAZ)