Offseason Capsule: Astana

Another middling season for the pyjama-clad team We pretty well have a formula for Astana year on year these days. 2018 followed that formula, but with an unexpected injection of classics excellence early in the year. That bug has been fixed and normal service will resume in 2019. What we said last year I had a memory that the comments on my Astana capsule picked up on how little love I gave to a Valgren-led cobbles squad. Not so, that came with my first cobbles ranking . I was down on the cobbles team and missed Valgren’s great year (though he was on my list of potential hilly-classics winners, fortunately). I am pleased that I gave praise to Bilbao, who proved a valuable lieutenant in the hills, and that I was more positive about Lopez than Fuglsang, who performed in line with my luke-warm preparation. Was I overboard on Lopez? ...

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