What Alexandre Vinokourov wants, Alexandre Vinokourov seems to get, at least these days. The Astana general manager returned to the Giro d’Italia on Friday in time to witness Fabio Aru’s stage victory atop Cervinia, and he was on hand with representatives from the Kazakhstani squad’s backers to see the Sardinian repeat the feat at Sestriere a day later.
Barely a month on from the UCI Licence Commission’s decision to uphold its WorldTour status despite last year’s spate of doping cases, Astana has landed five stage victories at the Giro, dominated the team classification and placed two of its riders – Aru and Mikel Landa – on the podium. From out of the WorldTour to out of this world, as it were.
For a delirious few minutes over the top of Colle delle Finestre and even on the final haul to Sestriere itself, it briefly seemed as though Astana might even pull off the most improbable heist of all and snatch away Giro victory from Alberto Contador at the death.