Astana – Premier Tech aiming to race aggressively at the Belgian Classics
Astana – Premier Tech returns to Belgium with an ambitious team ready to take on the next Classics starting on Wednesday with Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne, followed by E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields.
The Kazakh – Canadian squad will aim to race aggressively, taking chances in breakaways and looking to secure a top ten result on the cobblestones.
Having lined up at all three races on numerous occasions throughout his career, Canadian Hugo Houle brings valuable experience to the team.
“I am happy to come to Belgium and race my first Classics of the season. Even though it’s always a super intense period of tough and strategic races and stress, I like that so I am looking forward to it. I think the shape is good after Tirreno – Adriatico and now I’ve had a good rest and hope I can keep going in the right direction. I would like to achieve a top ten result at one of the big Classic races, which will be a success for me personally, but I think also for the team. We have to be aggressive as we are not a typical Classics team, so I think we need to take the chances which are coming along during the races”, – says Hugo Houle.
Sports Director Stefano Zanini expects the team to be opportunistic on the unpredictable Belgian cobbles.
“We may not be lining up with a big favourite for the Classics, but our riders are motivated for the upcoming races in Belgium, where they can gain experience and also enjoy the freedom to be active in breakaways and attack where possible, with Houle and Gruzdev we also have riders with experience. Our goal is to start the next Classics block with a good result so we will be aiming to have a rider in the top ten at the three races and race as aggressively as possible. At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne, we had two strong breakaway performances from Yevgeniy Fedorov and Artyom Zakharov, so I hope we will show what we can do again this week in Belgium”, – says Sports Director Stefano Zanini.
Rider Roster: Yevgeniy Fedorov (KAZ), Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ), Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ), Hugo Houle (CAN), Davide Martinelli (ITA), Benjamin Perry (CAN), Artyom Zakharov (KAZ).
Sports Directors: Stefano Zanini (ITA), Steve Bauer (CAN), Dmitriy Muravyev (KAZ).