PARIS (AFP) – Kazakhstan’s Andrey Kashechkin announced Thursday he would race the Vuelta a España this month with former team Astana, with whom he has signed a deal until the end of 2013.

Kashechkin finished third overall in the 2006 Tour of Spain while racing for Astana, but was handed a ban from the sport a year later after a random
drugs test proved positive for blood doping.

He made his return to the professional peloton with Lampre in the summer of 2009.

Lampre agreed to an amicable separation with the 31-year-old.

“My main objective is a place in the top five of the Tour of Spain,” said Kashechkin, who finished 18th overall last year.

The Vuelta starts on August 20 in Benidorm.