Astana have announced a new partnership with Italian bike brand Wilier Triestina, five days after it was revealed that the Kazakh team would no longer be racing on Argon 18 bikes. They've retained partnerships with Shimano and Corima, but for 2020 they will be dressing Wilier's 0 SLR road and Turbine time trial frames in Astana colours.
Astana will be entering their 15th season on the World Tour when they begin racing Wilier bikes in 2020, and the team say the partnership is "born out of shared ambitious sporting goals." While the completely cable-tidy Wilier 0 SLR is already one of the sleekest road bikes in the peloton and ridden by the Total Direct Énergie team, Astana also claim they will become increasingly involved in product design and development going forward.
The team's manager and 2012 Olympic road race champ Alexandr Vinokurov said: "I’m very glad that we start working with Wilier Triestina. It’s a very successful company with a long history and it has always been a family business.
"We’ve tested their road and TT bikes, both are an excellent piece of equipment. We hope that this bike helps us to win even more races next year. I thank them for their trust in our team and look forward to a successful partnership."
While Astana's Argon 18 bikes in 2019 had a mix of Shimano and FSA/Vision components, from the images above it appears they will be be using entire Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets going forward. Handlebars are integrated on Wilier's 0 SLR and Turbine bikes which means FSA's bars are no longer needed, and the pictures also show Shimano's FC-R9100-P Dura-Ace Power Meter chainset - Astana used FSA's Powerbox in 2019.
Both bikes are also shown with Ceramic Speed's oversized pulley wheels at the rear for some extra (claimed) watt savings, the only thing that looks to have been swapped out on the Shimano drivetrain - Astana will continue to use Corima carbon wheels going forward.
Wilier Triestina's CEO Andrea Gastaldello commented: "We are proud to announce this agreement that we are certain will play a central role in Wilier Triestina's growth and overall success. Astana Pro Team concretely shares our ambition to return to winning the world’s top races. It is an essential contribution to continue creating increasingly innovative products, as the highest expression of the value of the Wilier Triestina brand. The cycling season that has just ended brought major successes to Astana Pro Team and we look forward to celebrating exciting new victories with them."
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.