Two-times Paris-Nice winner Alexandre Vinokourov will again not return to the event in 2007. According to L'Equipe, the 2006 Vuelta a España winner has changed his early season programme because of the uncertainty surrounding the Vuelta a Murcia, planned to take place on March 7.
Instead, Vinokourov will make his return to racing at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (February 27-March 3) before travelling to Italy to Tirreno-Adriatico (March 14-20). "I wasn't sure about Paris-Nice," said the Astana leader, who is well known to otherwise cherish the 'Race to the sun' as one of his favourites. "But I think the parcours would have been too hard for me at this time of the year," he explained, pointing at his objectives later on in the season like he did last year.
After that, the Kazakhstani's race programme will continue with the Critérium International in France (March 31-April 1), followed by the Ardennes Classics (Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège), well suited to his riding style and physical capabilities.