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Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
Astana leader wants Menchov, Kreuziger or even the Schlecks for 2011
Alexandre Vinokourov has told Cyclingnews that the time trial in the Asian Games in November is his only remaining goal of the 2010 season.
The Kazakhstani veteran will be 37 on September 16 and has already ridden the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this season, finishing sixth in the Giro and 16th in the Tour.
Since returning from his ban for blood doping in August of 2009, he has raced intensely and won the Chrono des Nations, the Asian Cycling Championships Time Trial, a stage at the Tour de l'Ain, a stage and the overall at the Giro del Trentino, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and stage 13 at the Tour de France.
“I’m definitely going for the time trial”, he said after first hinting that he might do it in his post-stage win press conference in Mende during the Tour de France. “I’ll only ride the time trial though. It’s a dead flat course and I think I have a good chance of winning. Other riders like Maxim Iglinsky might go for the road race.”
Thanks to finishing second at the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday, Vinokourov has secured Kazakhstan’s place in the top 10 of the UCI world ranking. However, since only two Kazakh riders are in the ranking, they won’t be allowed to line up with nine riders at the world championship in Melbourne in October. Kazakhstan can have six starters but Vinokourov won’t be one of them.
“I’m going to take a break now. I might ride the two ProTour races in Canada in September but it’s not sure yet. As part of my preparation for the Asian Games, I’m interested to defend my title at the Chrono des Nations on October 17,” he said.
Vinokourov, 36 confirmed he will race for one more season in 2011, but he’s also very involved in the future of the Astana team he founded in 2006 on the ashes of Liberty Seguros.
Asked by Sud-Ouest newspaper who will be the leader of the team after the departure of Alberto Contador to Saxo Bank-SunGard, he answered: “We’re thinking about [Denis] Menchov, [Roman] Kreuziger and why not the Schleck brothers. I don’t think their deal is signed yet.”