Vinokourov changes Astana's management, Yvon Sanquer out
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Vinokourov changes Astana's management, Yvon Sanquer out

by Samuel Morrison at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Martinelli assumes head spot

In addition to Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Team Astana will lose French team manager Yvon Sanquer this winter. Alexander Vinokourov said that there are "problems" with Sanquer and that Italy's Giuseppe Martinelli will take over.

"We will most likely part ways with Sanquer, there is a problem," Vinokourov said in an interview on "Today, the head coach is Martinelli."

Vinokourov and his Kazakhstan team hired Sanquer to replace Johan Bruyneel at the end of last year. Bruyneel had taken up the post at the end of 2007, but left last year with Lance Armstrong to form Team RadioShack.

Sanquer worked for team Festina after the Festina Affair in 1998 and as a national coach before taking the job with Astana. His relations with the UCI made him a perfect fit since Astana was fighting to keep its first division ProTour licence last year.

Astana is meeting this week in Pistoia, Italy, for its first training camp without Sanquer and Contador. Spain's Contador signed a contract in August to join Bjarne Riis' Saxo Bank team for two years. However, he faces a legal battle in Spain and a possible two-year ban due to a positive test for Clenbuterol at the Tour de France.

"Nobody needs the disqualification of Contador," added Vinokourov.

Contador's case, "is hard to judge, I do not know all the nuances. The Spanish federation will decide if he is guilty or not, but I hope that the lawyers will be able to show that it had to due with the meat. So, I hope that he is not disqualified and that the victory will remain with team Astana."

Kazakhstan's Vinokourov helped create the team with financial backers from his home country in 2006. His positive test for blood doping during the 2007 Tour de France forced him out of the team and cycling for two years. He returned to racing in August last year with team Astana, winning three races.

This year, he won the Giro del Trentino, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a stage of the Tour de France.


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