Vinokourov happy after today's Giro d'Italia performance
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vinokourov happy after today's Giro d'Italia performance

by Steve Jones at 4:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Alexandre VinokourovPre-race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) put in a strong performance today during the opening time trial of the Giro d'Italia, finishing fourth behind Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins in his first-ever appearance in the Corsa Rosa. The Kazakh has had a great spring thus far, but says he feels the drain after giving everything to secure his second victory in La Doyenne last month.

"After my efforts in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, I felt that I lacked a little bit of smoothness in my pedaling," he admitted.

Mother nature played a role in today's race, with a spattering of rain making the painted road lines on the 8.4 kilometer course through Amsterdam extremely slick and dangerous.

"I didn’t take too many risks in the corners," Vinokourov said after the finish.  "Arriving in the top five is a place that suits me. And it seems natural that this time trial has been won by Wiggins, as he is a specialist in this type of test."

Wiggins has admitted he isn't targeting the overall win, which leaves Vinokourov with the  second best time of the favorites for the general classification, just three seconds behind road race World Champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing).

With his win in the Giro del Trentino last month the Astana rider showed he was capable of riding in the mountains with the climbers, but it remains to be seen if he can sustain that sort of effort over a three-week Tour.  He returned from a two-year suspension for doping last August, and since then his longest race has been eleven stages of last year's Vuelta a Espana.


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