Team Astana Announces 2008 Vuelta a Espana Line-Up
Contador and Leipheimer look set to go for the overall win.
Alberto. It has been a dream and I would love to complete my career with another Grand Tour victory." Chechu will exit pro cycling at the end of this season.
Astana team roster for the Tour of Spain (August 30th – September 21st, 2008):
Alberto Contador (25), Spain
Career Highlights: Winner Tour de France 2007 and Tour of Italy 2008.
Key Results in 2008: 1st Tour of Castilla y Leon (and two stage wins), 1st Tour of Basque Country (and one stage win), 1st Tour of Italy, 3rd Tour of Murcia, 4th 2008 Olympic Games Time Trial.
First start in Tour of Spain.
Levi Leipheimer (34), USA
Career Highlights: Bronze Medal Olympic Games Time Trial Beijing 2008, Four times top ten in Tour de France (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007), 3rd Place Tour de France (2007).
Key Results in 2008: 1st Tour of California (and stage win), 1st Cascade Cycling Classic (and stage win), 1st Clásica a los Puertos, 3rd 2008 Olympic Games Time Trial, 3rd Dauphiné Libéré (and stage win), 3rd Tour de Georgia, 18th Tour of Italy.
Third start in Tour of Spain (3rd in 2001, 58th in 2003).
Andreas Klöden (33), Germany
Career Highlights: Tour de France runner-up in 2004 and 2006, winner Paris-Nice (2000), Tour of Basque Country (2000), Tirreno-Adratico (2007) and Tour de Romandie (2008). Bronze Medal Olympic Games Sydney Road Race (2000).
Key Results in 2008: 1st Tour de Romandie, 2nd Tour de Suisse.
Fifth start in Tour of Spain (62nd in 1999, DNF in 1998, 2000 and 2002).
Assan Bazayev (27), Kazakhstan
Career Highlights: Sprinter, winner of stage in the Tour of Germany 2006.
Key Results in 2008: National Road Champion Kazakhstan, Winner Points Classification Presidential Tour of Turkey, 5th Tour of Luxemburg, Twice top 5 in stages of the Tour of Italy
Second start in Tour of Spain (98th in 2006).
Dmitriy Muravyev (28), Kazakhstan
Career Highlights: Three-time National Champion (Road 2002, Time Trial 2003 & 2005), Winner Ruban Granitier Breton 2003, 7th Tour of Flanders 2007.
Key Results 2008: 4th National Road Championship, 9th Tour of Belgium, 16th Tour of Flanders
First start in Tour of Spain.
Benjamín Noval (29), Spain
Career Highlights: Instrumental in three Tour de France victories (Alberto Contador 2007, Lance Armstrong 2004 and 2005).
Fourth start in Tour of Spain (DNF in 2002, 45th in 2003, 57th in 2005).
Sérgio Paulinho (28), Portugal
Career Highlights: Silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Road Race Games in Athens, Good climber and Time Trialist
Key Result 2008: National Champion Time Trial
Third start in Tour of Spain (16th in 2006 with stage win, DNF in 2007).
José Luis Rubiera (34), Spain
Career Highlights: Rode on five of Lance Armstrong’s seven winning Tours de France teams. Starts in his 20th big Tour. Won two stages in the Tour of Italy
Key Result in 2008: Stage victory in Tour of Murcia
Eighth start in Tour of Spain (26th in 1998, 6th in 1999, 11th in 2000, 7th in 2001, 51st in 2002, 80th in 2003, 86th in 2007).
Tomas Vaitkus (26),