Andrea Guardini all set to make Team Astana debut at the Santos Tour Down Under

Andrea Guardini is all set to mark his debut appearance with Team Astana at the UCI Inaugural event, Santos Tour Down Under.

The cyclist had an excellent 2012 season and is hopeful to continue his winning form at the coming race as he gets in line for the six-day race scheduled in Adelaide, Australia.

The event is scheduled between January 22 stretching up to January 27 and Kazakhstani team is positive to mark a good start to its 2013 campaign by winning the first World Tour race of the season.

The cyclist joined Team Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli in 2011 after riding for Team Lucchini Neri Comauto (2008-09) and Team ISD-NERI for 2010 season.

He rode exceptionally well throughout the 2012 season helping his team with several winning performances throughout the season.

The 23-year-old bagged five stages at the Tour de Langkawi along with the point’s classifications at the race.

His biggest win of the season came during the first Grand Tour season of the season, the Giro d’Italia where he claimed the 18th stage of the race.

Guardini wrapped up a perfect 2012 season with three stages at the Tour of Qinghai Lake and aims high to start the New Year on a high note.

Team Astana General Manager, Alexandre Vinokourov and Team manager Giuseppe Martinelli are positive that the young Italian will not let the team down during the South Australian race.

“Guardini has all of the characteristics of becoming a world class sprinter,” Giuseppe noted.

He further added, “His explosive jump and tremendous leg speed took him to more than 20 top ten finishes last season, including a win at the Giro d’Italia against the World Champion. Astana is sending a strong squad in support of Andrea”.

“We have taken on Guardini because we want to compete on all fronts, and he is without doubt the sprinter we were missing,” Martinelli reported.

“Adelaide should watch out for Guardini, he will make his presence known at the finish,” Vinokourov said.

Guardini will be accompanied by Enrico Gasparotto and the 2012 Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner, Maxim Iglinskiy have also been announced in the final line-up.