Alexandre Vinokourov confident ahead of Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Alexandre Vinokourov confident ahead of Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege

by Jered Gruber at 7:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
17th place finish, over two minutes down does not bother two-time Liege champion

Alexandre Vinokourov's quiet spring began to pick up steam just under two weeks ago when he rode one of his late solo moves home to victory in Stage 3 of the Tour of the Basque Country. An overall eighth place finish in one of the year's most difficult one week stages races made it clear: the two-time winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege was arriving into top spring form right on time.

Yesterday in Limburg, the 37 year old started with an outside chance at victory. 31 difficult climbs and almost 260 kilometers later, the Kazakh attacker finished 17th, two minutes and nine seconds behind repeat winner, Philippe Gilbert.

The defending La Doyenne champion was anything but worried and decidedly content with his efforts in the hills of southern Holland.

"Unfortunately, the legs don't always answer. The Amstel is a complicated race, and I haven't always ridden the final climb well. It is also my first 260 kilometer race of the season, and it doesn't always work the first time. The team worked really well today though. I feel good, and I remain confident for Liege and Fleche, which are fast approaching!"

Astana was active at the front throughout most of the day, including Maxim Iglinskiy's dangerous move ahead of the Gulperberg in the race's finale. While Vinokourov's 17th place was the squad's best, the team looks poised to be a threat in the Ardennes this week with the likes of Vinokourov, Iglinskiy, Gasparotto, Di Gregorio, and Kessiakoff.



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