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Vinokourov tops Chrono des Nations

By:
Jean-François Quénet

Strong end-of-season form finally produces win for Alexander Vinokourov

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) en route to victory in the Chrono des Nations.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) en route to victory in the Chrono des Nations.

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Twenty four hours after shining in the Giro di Lombardia, Alexandre Vinokourov has claimed his most prestigious win since his comeback after serving a two-year doping suspension. The 36-year-old Kazakh won the 48.5km Chrono des Nations time trial today in Les Herbiers in the west of France. He covered the distance in 1:00:09, a superb effort considering the headwind towards the end of the race.

The Asian time trial champion bested French time trial champion Jean-Christophe Péraud and Ukrainian specialist Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2r-La Mondiale), while Belgian champion Maxime Monfort (Columbia-HTC) also honoured his jersey despite having finished the Tour of Lombardy with the flu.

"I wanted to finish the season on a high note for Astana", said Vinokourov who had also won the time trial in the Tour de l'Ain in August as soon as he resumed racing. "I started strongly and I had good legs till the end. I still felt strong at the finish. I came here highly motivated to win."

The Kazakh completed the course 49 second faster than last year's winner Stef Clement who was unable to defend his title due to a foot operation. Vinokourov, however, didn't beat Laszlo Bodrogi's record of 59:18 set two years in extremely favourable conditions.

"Beating Vinokourov was just impossible today", Krivtsov said. "I'm always motivated for this race. This is what I like the most in cycling."

Péraud concluded his day in Vendée with satisfaction. "The course wasn't exactly my favourite because I prefer changes of rhythm. I haven't lost much of my condition compared to the world championship three and half weeks ago where I finished 12th. There was no way I could ride faster than Vinokourov but I'm happy to remain the best Frenchman in the time trial."

Florian Morizot of Besson Chaussures was surprise finisher in 5th position just ahead of Agritubel's David Le Lay who earned the bronze medal at the French championship in June.

Tour of Lombardy winner Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) received a warm welcome from the big crowd at Les Herbiers. He started the race strongly and held second position only four seconds behind Vinokourov after 10km while Monfort was third at seven seconds. But with the exception of Vinokourov, the riders who had competed in the Giro di Lombardia the previous day lost several position as the time trial progressed.

French directeur sportif Alain Gallopin was delighted to conclude his job at Astana with a win before joining RadioShack with Johan Bruyneel. "It's a pleasure to work with a professional like Vinokourov", said the man who directed Alberto Contador to victory in three Grand Tours.

Elite men - 48.5 km
1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 1:00:09  
2 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) French National Team 0:01:07  
3 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:12  
4 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - High Road 0:01:42  
5 Florian Morizot (Fra) Besson Chaussures - Sojasun 0:02:13  
6 David Lelay (Fra) Agritubel 0:02:23  
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0:02:34  
8 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) ISD 0:03:01  
9 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:03:12  
10 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:03:14  
11 Damien Gaudin (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:03:17  
12 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Betonexpressz 2000 - Limonta 0:03:21  
13 Anthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0:03:39  
14 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli 0:03:53  
15 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne 0:04:14  
16 Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Magnus Maximus Coffee.com 0:04:28  
17 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0:04:54  
18 Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 0:04:57  
19 Nicolas Baldo (Fra) Continental Team Differdange 0:05:06  
20 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Auber 93 0:05:22  
21 Fabien Taillefer (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:05:30  
22 Mathieu Claude (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:06:06  
23 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:06:22  
24 Jonathan Thire (Fra) Auber 93 0:06:29  
25 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:06:32  
26 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel 0:06:50  
27 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 0:07:24  
28 Sebastien Harbonnier (Fra) Continental Team Differdange    
29 Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne - Schuller 0:10:01  
DNS Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Auber 93    
Elite women - 20.87 km
1 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Fra) AS Palais Sports Alpexpo 0:28:52  
2 Trine Schmidt (Den) Team Flexpoint 0:00:33  
3 Julia Shaw (GBr) Utag Yamaha 0:01:15  
4 Mélodie Lesueur (Fra) ESGL 93 - GSD Gestion 0:01:16  
5 Edwige Pitel (Fra) AS Palais Sports Alpexpo 0:01:41  
6 Karine Gautard (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 0:01:50  
7 Julie Augizeau (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 0:02:59  
8 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Red Sun Cycling Team    
9 Pippa Handley (GBr) Team Tubanters 0:03:03  
10 Christine Majerus (Lux) ESGL 93 - GSD Gestion    
11 Audrey Cordon (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope 0:03:29  
12 Annick Le Helley (Fra) CSM Villeneuve La Garenne 0:03:40  
13 Elodie Le Bail (Fra) EC Pluvignoise 0:04:51  
HD Oriane Niay (Fra) USSA Pavilly-Barentin    
HD Cécilia Robin (Fra) VC Conlie    
HD Marie Lou Kervella (Fra) EC Landerneau    
Espoir men - 38.61 km
1 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) CM Aubervilliers 0:50:29  
2 Etienne Pierret (Fra) Vendée U 0:00:05  
3 Nicolas Boisson (Fra) CC Etupes 0:00:06  
4 Jérôme Cousin (Fra) Vendée U 0:00:19  
5 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) CC Etupes 0:00:37  
6 Jonathan Dufrasne (Bel) Belgian National Team 0:00:42  
7 Florent Mallegol (Fra) Côtes d'Armor Cyclisme 0:00:44  
8 Romain Bacon (Fra) CM Aubervilliers 0:00:55  
9 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) AC Lanester 0:01:11  
10 Kévin Perron (Fra) EC Bourguignonne 0:01:15  
11 Yann Moritz (Fra) Vendée U 0:01:25  
12 Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Vendée U 0:01:44  
13 Richard Handley (Fra) Kus Kinesis 0:01:51  
14 Rémy Bebiano (Fra) Cavigal Nice 0:02:11  
15 Nicolas Vaillant (Fra) U Nantes-Atlantique 0:02:17  
16 Florian Deriaux (Fra) USSA Pavilly-Barentin 0:02:24  
17 Mike Cuming (GBr) Raleigh Aventi 0:02:28  
18 Willy Roseau (Fra) U Nantes-Atlantique 0:02:35  
19 Kévin Reza (Fra) Vendée U 0:02:36  
20 Aurélien Moulin (Fra) CC Vervant 0:02:46  
21 Pierre Esnault (Fra) Vélo sport Cacien 0:04:57  
22 Emilien Puaud (Fra) Cyclisme Région Pouzauges 0:06:45  
23 Sylvain Lopez (Fra) La Roche Vendée Cyclisme 0:06:46  
24 Steven Laget (Fra) La Roche Vendée Cyclisme 0:08:55  
25 Nicolas Ceaux (Fra) CR Auvergne 0:09:14  
HD Hophra Gerard (Bel) Belgian National Team    
DNS Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Equipe de France Gendarmerie    
Junior men - 20.87 km
1 Anthony Saux (Fra) Comité de Bretagne 0:27:35  
2 Thomas Wertz (Fra) VC Ardennes 0:01:34  
3 Jessy Wastiaux (Fra) Bou St-Denis-de-L'hôtel 0:01:40  
4 Alexis Dulin (Fra) VS Gerzatois 0:01:48  
5 Stéfan Wojtecki (Fra) AS Corbeil-Essonnes 0:01:52  
6 Florian Legrandois (Fra) CAM Bordeaux 0:01:53  
7 Cyril Delory (Fra) Sablé Sarthe Cyclisme 0:01:59  
8 Jean-Marie Gouret (Fra) POC Côte de Lumière 0:02:01  
9 Romain Combaud (Fra) US Florentaise Cyclisme 0:02:14  
10 Vincent Bertrand (Fra) Le Mans Sarthe Vélo 0:02:19  
11 Antoine Delhommeau (Fra) Sablé Sarthe Cyclisme 0:02:32  
12 Thomas Wojciechowski (Fra) ASPTT Rennes 0:03:08  
13 Florent Guilbaud (Fra) POC Côte de Lumière 0:03:14  
14 Franck Grelier (Fra) La Roche Vendée Cyclisme 0:03:17  
15 Wilfrid Neror (Fra) Madinina Bikers 0:03:19  
16 Baptiste Despreaux (Fra) CC Montois 0:03:40  
17 Romain Jagu (Fra) US Pontchâteau 0:03:54  
18 Thibault Monvoisin (Fra) VS Dompierre-sur-Yon 0:04:10  
Junior women - 17.23 km
1 Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) French National Team 0:25:54  
2 Aude Biannic (Fra) French National Team 0:00:06  
3 Alexia Muffat (Fra) French National Team 0:00:28  
4 Roxane Fournier (Fra) French National Team 0:00:50  
5 Raphaëlle Coadou (Fra) BIC 2000 0:01:10  
6 Lucie Pader (Fra) AC Cusset 0:01:22  
7 Charlotte Bravard (Fra) French National Team 0:01:30  
8 Steffi Jamoneau (Fra) UC Joué-lès-Tours 0:01:45  
9 Justine Macret (Fra) CS Bonneville 0:01:52  
10 Marion Rousse (Fra) ESGL 93-GSD Gestion 0:02:12  
11 Carole Vallee (Fra) VC Lionnais 0:03:06  
12 Morgane Charles (Fra) A. Pommeuse Boissy 0:03:52  
HD Margot Lebacle (Fra) CC Ernée    
HD Manuella Longepee (Fra) Saint-Jean-de-Monts VC    
HD Célia Marie (Fra) CC Montois