Yaroslav Popovych signs with Astana

Ukranian joins Armstrong, Contador, Leipheimer and Klöden

Yaroslav Popovych has joined the Astana Cycling Team

Yaroslav Popovych, a top-10 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia finisher, has signed a two-year agreement with the Astana Cycling Team.


Johan Bruyneel’s team already includes top Grand Tour riders Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden.

Popovych, 28, a professional since 2002, has spent his career racing for Landbouwkrediet (2002-2004), Discovery Channel (2005-2007) and Silence-Lotto (2008) amd has established himself as one of the most consistent riders in the Grand Tours and stage races. 

In his first year at Discovery Channel, the Ukranian secured the Tour de France’s Best Young Rider jersey, while assisting Armstrong’s quest for a record-setting seventh Tour title. His Tour de France success continued with a stage win in 2006 and a personal best eighth place overall finish in 2007, while also helping teammate Alberto Contador secure the top honour.

Other notable results include top-10 overall finishes in the Giro d’Italia (third in 2003, fifth in 2004) and a first place finish in the Tour of Catalunya (2005).  Prior to turning professional, Popovych captured the U23 Paris-Roubaix title and the World Road Championship in 2001.

Bruyneel said: “Over the past few months, we have worked hard to assemble a roster that will build upon the success of the 2008 season. When I heard Yaroslav was free, I was immediately interested. He is a cyclist who has proven himself not only as a reliable teammate, but also as a rider who can achieve his personal ambitions. Though we will discuss his season’s race schedule next month at training camp, we will most likely count on him to support our leaders in the Giro and the Tour.”

Popovych said: “It may have surprised people that I would go to a team that has a number of leaders. However, Johan’s organization is the perfect fit for me.  He is one of the few people I know who has successfully been able to manage both individual and team goals. There may be a couple more months till 2009 but I am already looking forward to putting on the Astana team jersey and racing.”

Astana’s 2009 squad:

  • Lance Armstrong
  • Assan Bazayev
  • Jani Brajkovic
  • Alberto Contador
  • Valeriy Dmitriyev
  • Aleksandr Dyachenko
  • Jesús Hernández
  • Chris Horner
  • Maxim Iglinskiy
  • Roman Kireyev
  • Andreas Klöden
  • Berik Kupeshov
  • Levi Leipheimer
  • Steve Morabito
  • Dmitriy Muravyev
  • Daniel Navarro
  • Benjamín Noval
  • Sérgio Paulinho
  • Yaroslav Popovych
  • Bolat Raimbekov
  • Gregory Rast
  • Sergey Renev
  • José Luis Rubiera
  • Michael Schär
  • Tomas Vaitkus
  • Andrey Zeits
  • Haimar Zubeldia