Astana happy with fourth place in Vuelta a España team time trial and with Vinokourov training again soon
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Astana happy with fourth place in Vuelta a España team time trial and with Vinokourov training again soon

by Bjorn Haake at 2:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Injury
Quickly healing Kazakh could be racing the Giro di Lombardia

alexander vinokourovThe Astana team had two good news today. One was the fourth place in the team time trial of the Vuelta a España, the second was the potential return of Alexandre Vinokourov to competition in the Giro di Lombardia, before he retires from the sport.

Astana came home ten seconds after winner Leopard Trek on the 13.5-kilometer course on stage one of the Vuelta a España in Benidorm. "It was quite a difficult and dangerous time trial," Robert Kiserlovski said. "Since my crash in Paris-Nice, I'm still apprehensive, and I confess that I was scared on descents and narrow roads."

The young rider from Croatia came down hard in the seventh stage of Paris-Nice. "I had a broken vertebra and my osteopath told me that it will be a year before healing is complete; meanwhile, I have to stay vigilant!" Kiserlovski was very pleased to stay upright and also about the small gap to Leopard Trek. "We are satisfied, I think we made a good ride, we all started together with the right pace and we had a good harmony."

The first step for a good Vuelta is done. "We get a satisfactory ranking, it's good for the team now, then in few days, at the Sierra Nevada, the hard work begins."

Team manager Giuseppe Martinelli was also satisfied. "I'm happy with the team's performance. They were all equally strong." The preparation for the team time trial had been meticulous "We stayed a few days here and we were well prepared, it's good for the morale of the team to start with a good result like today," said Martinelli.

Like Kiserlovski, the team's captain Vinokourov had a bad crash this season, which forced him out of the Tour de France. Vinokourov had a complex fracture of the head of right femoral, but his recovery has been going well. After he met his surgeon, Professor Yves Catonné, the Kazakh rider was hopeful about the imminent future. "The exams revealed that I'm recovering very well from my injury after my crash in the last Tour de France," he said. "The doctors told me that if I wish, I could start training in the coming days."

This leaves the Kazakh rider to bow out of the sport on his terms. "If everything goes well, I may compete in the Giro di Lombardia, which is the last race of the season and could be the last race to end my career. This would be also a last occasion for me to contribute to increase the UCI points of Pro Team Astana and for the Kazakh Federation, in anticipation of the selections for the Olympic Games."



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