Kazakh takes final win in farewell criterium in Monaco
Riding in what is surely his final appearance as a rider, Alexandre Vinokourov took a solo win in the jubilee criterium held along the streets of Monaco. Vinokourov wasn’t sure of his plans post-retirement however, according to Eurosport the 39-year-old will take up a management role with the Astana team he has ridden for since 2006.
Vinokourov was greeted in Monaco by the fans of his current home city and joined by a number of current professionals including world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) who he beat into second and third respectively. Eddy Merckx, Laurent Jalabert and Jan Ullrich were also in attendance for the habourside race.
"Today was a perfect celebration of my career. To have my family, my teammates and my friends with me riding around this beautiful setting was something I’ll never forget. I would like to also thank all my fans for their amazing support throughout my professional career," said Vinokourov.
Vinokourov has enjoyed a checkered career and while he had intended to retire at the end of the 2011 season, he continued into 2012 primarily to bolster his Astana team’s UCI points tally. The Kazakh rode a relatively light season which included the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France before taking his biggest win of his career by winning the London Olympic road race.
The exact details of 'Vino's' role is yet to be announced however, many would expect him to move into a directors role and to be in attendance at next year’s Tour de France.