Alexandre Vinokourov cancels planned participation in Giro di Lombardia due to safety concerns
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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Alexandre Vinokourov cancels planned participation in Giro di Lombardia due to safety concerns

by VeloNation Press at 2:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Lombardia
 
Astana leader will ride Chrono des Nations instead

Vinokourov Gilbert MerckxStill building form after his serious crash on the ninth stage of the Tour de France, Astana rider Alexandre Vinokourov has taken the decision to cancel his planned participation in the Giro di Lombardia. The race has been the Kazakh rider’s target since he declared in mid-August that he was reversing his decision to retire and would come back in the so-called Race of the Falling Leaves.

However, although he has been training for several weeks, it appears Lombardia has come just a bit too soon for the rider, and instead he will ride a time trial in the Vendée region of France next Sunday.

“During my last training ride I thought a lot about my return to competition,” he explained. “I feel good on the road, but I do not want to take risks with my health. I prefer to start with an individual time trial; it is a discipline in which the risk of crash is lower than in a Classic race amongst a bunch.

“So I decided to take part in Chrono des Nations instead of the Tour of Lombardy. It's a race I won in 2009, but this year I don’t presume to place myself as a favourite, I come back first to get the race pace back and above all to greet my supporters who have brought so much support in recent months. I am truly grateful to them!”

In fact, it would have been more surprising had Vinokourov been able to perform well in Lombardia. He suffered a fractured femur in his Tour crash and was operated on three months ago. Vinokourov returned to training on the road on September 13th, less than a month ago.

Given that the other riders who will compete in Lombardia next weekend have all been racing for months, it is clear that he would have been at a major disadvantage. And, as he suggests, another crash so soon after the July fall could have serious consequences. Riding the Chrono des Nations is a safer option for him, and the can follow this up with more training prior to racing again in 2012.

The Kazakh rider trained yesterday with his friend and fellow Monaco resident Philippe Gilbert, as well as history’s greatest rider, Eddy Merckx.

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