Aranburu-Martinelli: Astana, with two bullets to Almería

Astana will be one of the benchmark teams in the next Almería Classic, which will be held on February 14.


Álex Aranburu was finally able to make the leap to the World Tour in the complicated 2020 season. The winner of the Getxo Circuit (1.1) in 2018 and a stage in the Vuelta a Burgos (2.HC) in 2019 had given plenty of samples to be prepared to face the challenge of becoming part of one of the most complete and powerful squads of the highest category, such as Astana-Premier Tech.

The runner from Ezkio landed in the Kazakh squad without stripes of a clear leader of the ranks, but, at the same time, without being a man called only to serve the great leaders of the team. Thus, the Basque gave a very good feeling in the short start to the season in which, after a good Tour of Provence (2.Pro), where he was fifth in the second stage, he got into the fight for the Kuurne-Brussels- Kuurne (1.Pro), where he achieved a top20 that augured very good things for the Belgian classic campaign.

However, the break came and all the work had to be started again from scratch. Fourth in the first stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, a race in which he returned to competition after almost four months without wearing a bib, Aranburu traveled to Italy to put the weight of the team on his shoulders. His best days of the year arrived there, highlighting the second position in the Gran Trittico Lombardo (1.Pro) before making his debut in a big way in an entire Monument such as Milan-Sanremo (1.WT), where he was seventh beating men from the stature of the Olympic champion, Greg Van Avermaet; the former world champion, Philippe Gilbert; the winner of the Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar or the winner of the Tour of Flanders, Mathieu van der Poel.

All this, together with his good role at the service of the team leaders in events such as the Tirreno-Adriatico (2.WT) and the Vuelta a España (2.WT) have meant that Álex Aranburu has won many integers inside and outside the team and, therefore, deserving of the status of leader of the ranks and one of the great favorites in the next edition of the Almería Classic, a race that, with the help of a very solid block capable of controlling the test, can be perfectly adapted to your conditions.

Astana-Premier Tech will move a very solid team to the Andalusian event in which, in addition to Aranburu, the presence of Davide Martinelli, the Italian sprinter who could be his asset in case the Basque does not have his best day, stands out.

Together with them, Luis León Sánchez will attend the classic Almeria for the tenth time in his sports career, a race in which he managed to be fourth in 2010, the year in which he was surpassed by the winner of that edition, Theo Bos, as well as by Mark Cavendish and Graeme Brown. Luisle will wear his Spanish champion jersey in Almeria and will be, by ability and seniority, one of the key men in the strategy of the Kazakh team.

That same role, that of providing seniority and control capacity, will be provided by Fabio Felline, a powerful classic who scored the Marco Pantani Memorial (1.1) last year. Along with them will also be young Yevgeniy Fedorov, a neo-professional who makes the leap after triumphing last year at the Tour of Langkawi (2.Pro) and Stefan De Bond, the CRI African champion who at 24 has landed this season in Astana from NTT.

The Astana seven will be completed by one of the great unknowns of this season: Javier Romo. The Spanish Under-23 champion in 2020 makes the leap not only to the World Tour, but to cycling, coming from the triathlon. At 22 years of age and with hardly any references to his abilities and margin of evolution, Romo will be, as we have said, one of the men to be watched in the Almería Clásica and the rest of the 2021 season to discover his true potential.

Astana-Premier Tech for the Clásica de Almería 2021

Luis León Sánchez (ESP)

Fabio Felline (ITA)

Álex Aranburu (ESP)

Davide Martinelli (ITA)

Yevgeniy Fedorov (KAZ)

Stefan De Bond (RSA)

Javier Romo (ESP)

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