Kashechkin expresses concern about non-selection for Vuelta al Pais Vasco
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Kashechkin expresses concern about non-selection for Vuelta al Pais Vasco

by VeloNation Press at 10:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta al Pais Vasco
 
Team confirms rider still in running for possible Tour de France selection

Andrey KashechkinAndrey Kashechkin, one of the aggressors on the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya, has spoken of his disappointment at not being given a green light to ride the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, saying that he hopes there are no political reasons why he was not selected.

“For me it is a surprise, a very unpleasant surprise. After the Tour of Australia and that of Malaysia [the Santos Tour Down Under and the Tour de Langkawi – ed], I reached a peak in form, and I was especially prepared for this race, where Astana had me officially registered. This race was part of my program,” he said.

Although rosters in teams are not set in stone and changes can often be made, Kashechkin says he wonders if there are non-declared reasons for his not taking part.

“My removal coincides with the presence at the race of Vinokourov, Martinelli and Shefer, who were not in principle due to be there,” he said. “They decided that I should not be at the start, without explanation. They do not want me to be in the team for this race, but I don’t know what the reason for that is.

“I am a professional. I love my team Astana. I love my country and I would like to excite the fans of our country as often as possible, as in the last stage of the Tour of Catalonia, and this great breakaway which almost reached the finish. I hope this decision is not motivated by issues other than sporting ones, which are not related to my performance.”

VeloNation sought comment from the Astana team but it did not give an official reply to Kashechkin’s statements. However it is understood that he remains one of those who are in the running for a place on the squad for the Tour de France.

Kashechkin’s performances have been more modest since he returned from a two year suspension. He tested positive for a blood transfusion in 2008, as did Vinokourov, and rejoined the team in August 2011.

He has yet to take a victory since returning to the sport.

It is not yet clear what his next event will be. Further ahead, he said that the Tour de France is his top goal of the season. “I will focus all my training and my preparation for this Grand Tour,” he said. “My sports directors have confirmed that I will be in the team, that is the main thing. I want to shine and wear the colours of Astana in France at a high level, while respecting the ethics of our sport based on clean cycling.”
 

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