Astana team seeks closure of fake Vino Twitter account
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Astana team seeks closure of fake Vino Twitter account

by VeloNation Press at 5:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Squad not impressed by parody feed

Alexandre VinokourovWith Twitter increasingly being used for satire, the Astana team has issued a communiqué stating that it is to seek the closure of an account claiming to be that of Alexandre Vinokourov.

Although a reading of the tweets makes it clear that the account is not a serious one, the team has said that it has approached Twitter seeking to have the account closed.

“Yesterday evening, the Kazakh champion noticed a Twitter account in his name. Alexandre Vinokourov is not the administrator of this account and absolutely doesn’t know that person. Anyway, Alexandre absolutely rejects all messages that are contained on this account.

“The communication department of the team has filed a complaint on Twitter and hopes that this account will be deleted as soon as possible.”

It points out that the official feed is at!/AstanaTeam

A sample of the tweets from the satirical account plays on Vinokourov’s reputation as one of the toughest riders in cycling.

April 15: Vino on Twitter. You will follow me.
April 16: Vino is ready at the Ardennes. My legs as strong as Kazakh steel.
May 9: No Giro for Vino this year, route too easy.
June 5: Vino Tweet from Dauphine. Prologue done - easy. Heart rate stay low. I crush them in the mountains.
June 8: Today Grenoble will crumble under Kazakh thunder. I never heard of this Wiggons guy you talk of. Vino crush him.
June 8: Vino love the rain. Vino love the cold. Vino love the hot. Vino not feel the difference

As was the case with the Kaiserjan parody of Jan Ullrich several years ago, the account is intended to be humorous, although several tweets are more risky in nature.

The growth of social media such as Twitter has made it much easier for people to both communicate with well known sportspeople, celebrities and others, and also to parody them. As many have found, it’s difficult to control such accounts.

Vinokourov is currently competing in the Critérium du Dauphiné. He held the lead in yesterday’s time trial and is now fourth overall, one minute 56 seconds behind Bradley Wiggins.

The Briton is likely to come under serious attack on the mountain stages of Friday, Saturday and Sunday; Vinokourov and the Astana team will do their utmost to win the race, twelve years after he triumphed in the 1999 event.


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