French rider Rémy Di Gregorio will ride for Astana next season.
The 25-year-old climbing specialist has joined the Kazakh team with a one-year deal. Team officials said Di Gregorio will be counted on to help the team captains in stage races.
Di Gregorio made a big splash at the 2006 Tour de l’Avenir and many tapped him as France’s new breakout start. The hype continued to build when he won the best climber’s jersey at the 2007 Dauphiné Libéré, but he crashed out of his Tour de France debut a few weeks later with a broken elbow.
He has since failed to live up to expectations and has not won a race since 2006.
Astana is looking to fill some gaps following the departure of Alberto Contador and three other teammates who helped him win the 2010 Tour, including Benjamin Noval, Jesus Hernández and Dani Navarro.
Astana has already signed Roman Kreuziger and Alexander Vinokourov said he will race at least one more season.