Astana-Premier Tech have announced the extension of seven riders, including Gorka and Ion Izagirre and Luis León Sánchez, bringing the team’s 2021 squad to 30 riders.
The trio of Spaniards renew on one-year deals, joining Manuele Boaro, Jonas Gregaard, Davide Martinelli and Rodrigo Contreras in doing so. The moves follow a slew of renewals and signings last week.
Meanwhile, GC star Miguel Ángel López will move elsewhere for 2021 while home star Alexey Lutsenko’s contract is expiring at the end of the year, along with those of Hernando Bohórquez, Zhandos Bizhigitov, Laurens De Vreese, and Daniil Fominykh.
After signing with Astana from Bahrain-Merida in 2019, the Izagirre brothers have enjoyed various successes, with Gorka winning the Tour de la Provence in 2019 and Gran Trittico Lombardo this season, while Ion won Itzulia Basque Country and the Volta Valenciana in 2019 and took a Vuelta a España win at Formigal last month.
“Together with my brother I joined the team in 2019,” said Ion Izagirre. “It has been great two years, and therefore I am happy to re-sign for another season. This year had ups and downs, to leave the Tour de France was shattering but winning a stage at the Vuelta a España was a happy ending to a challenging season.
“I am looking forward to 2021 and also to stay in the team with my brother. As always, we have big ambitions and are already in full swing to start the season in good shape.”
Gorka added: “I am happy to stay, together with my brother, for another year with the team. The 2020 season was, as we all know, a different and difficult one, but our sponsors supported us perfectly.
“I am motivated to get back into race mode for next year and to ride together with the team, as I think we will have a strong line-up. I have some personal goals for the 2021 season and hope I will be able to achieve them.”
At 36, Sánchez will be the oldest man on the team in 2021, a road captain who still has the ability to add to the win tally. He has taken 11 wins since joining Astana in 2015, winning a stage at the Vuelta a Murcia as well as becoming Spanish road race champion this year at his 13th time of asking.
“I am glad to continue with the team, I feel very comfortable here, as it is a familiar team with a professional surrounding,” he said. “Also, I know my role within the team, even so I get my chances to show myself. I am already many years in the team, since 2015, but my motivation and ambitions remain the same.
“With my experience, I think I can take the young riders by the hand but will also help our GC leaders to fight for the best results possible. After a difficult 2020 season I am looking forward to 2021, hopefully being again a normal cycling season for us.”
Meanwhile, Boaro, Gregaard, Contreras and Martinelli will continue in their domestique roles with the squad.
The six renewals come days after the team announced the signings of Samuele Battistella, Matteo Sobrero and Stefan De Bod from the Qhubeka Assos team, while Ben Perry and neo-pros Andrea Piccolo and Javier Romo also join.
Last week, Astana-Premier Tech also announced further signings in the form of Kazakhstanis Yevgeniy Fedorov and Gleb Brussenskiy, as well as extensions for Yevgeniy Gidich, Dmitriy Gruzdev, Yuriy Natarov, Nikita Stalnov and Artyom Zakharov.
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