Vinokourov pledges to try again after stage win bid doesn’t pay off
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vinokourov pledges to try again after stage win bid doesn’t pay off

by Shane Stokes at 4:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Olympics
Kazakh rider wants to achieve a victory in final Tour de France, will ride Olympics

Alexandre VinokourovAlready holding the mountains jersey with Fredrik Kessiakoff and eighth place overall with Janez Brajkovic, the Astana team has made no secret of the fact that it wants a stage win in this Tour de France. If that’s to be achieved, the perfect script is that the team captain Alexandre Vinokourov will manage to do it, triumphing a year after he crashed out of the race with bad injuries, and in his final participation in the event.

The Kazakh rider raised team hopes that it might happen today, breaking clear sixteen kilometres from the line when the Team Sky led-bunch eased somewhat, perhaps hoping that a dropped Mark Cavendish would be able to get back up.

He was joined by Orica GreenEdge rider Michael Albasini and together the two combined to try to hold off a peloton which was soon driven along by Lotto Belisol.

They opened a maximum lead of 22 seconds but Andre Greipel’s team drew gradually closer, and they were gobbled up inside the final three kilometres.

"I gave it a go. I had a good attack going with Albasini but unfortunately the headwind and Greipel’s arrival in the group ensured that Lotto rode to bring us back,” he said at the finish. “I will definitely try again the next chance I get.”

Team manager Giuseppe Martinelli is encouraged after what he saw, confirming as it does that the team captain is coming into strong form. “I was wary of today’s stage because it would have been easy to lose precious seconds in an echelon. However, the guys did well and Vino’s attack was fantastic,” he said. “He is here to win a stage and today was the first opportunity to do so. Now we await our next chance!”

Meanwhile the Kazakhstan cycling federation has confirmed that the veteran will represent the country at the upcoming Olympic Games. Vinokourov and national champion Bazayev Assan have got the nod, although it seems clear that the former was guaranteed a place if he wished. “Alexandre Vinokourov decided to ride in London as he is now in better shape and wants to represent his country,” stated the federation’s executive director Allen Chayzhunusov to the Vesti website


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