Vinokourov begins final season tomorrow in Tour of Oman, will ride aggressively
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Vinokourov begins final season tomorrow in Tour of Oman, will ride aggressively

by Shane Stokes at 5:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Astana team leader says he isn’t at race to be a ‘tourist’

Alexandre VinokourovTeam Astana captain Alexandre Vinokourov is in the final months of his professional career, and will get that last campaign off to a start in the Tour of Oman.

The 37 year old is making his debut in the race, which was first held last season. It has evolved out of the successful running of the Tour of Qatar, is also run by Tour de France organisers ASO, and once again sees the riders clash in the warmth of the Arabian Gulf. However it is regarded as a much tougher race than last week’s event, which is run off on flat roads.

Vinokourov is still building form, but he indicates that he’s likely to ride aggressively in the event. “I never took part in a race by saying that I am going as a tourist,” he said. “I am a competitor and everyone tells me that the race is difficult in Oman. I feel I’m going to like it. I am very eager to race again in the last season of my career.”

Vinokourov returned to racing in August 2009, having served a two year doping suspension. He was co-leader of the team last season with Alberto Contador, and grabbed several victories including Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Giro del Trentino and stage 13 of the Tour de France.

The latter race is his main goal for 2011. His best result there came in 2003, when he finished third behind Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich. He also won a stage, and took two more en route to fifth overall in 2005. Although he’s considerably older now, he has said that he is vying to win the race in his farewell season; he concedes it’s a very difficult task, but will try nonetheless.

Vinokourov will be joined by Andriy Grivko, Valentin Iglinskiy, Simon Clarke, Tanel Kangert, Mirco Lorenzetto, Tomas Vaitkus and Maxim Gourov in the Tour of Oman. They previously competed in Qatar.

Team Astana Oman 

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