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Vino refuses to give up

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Alexandre Vinokourov has refused to concede defeat to Alejandro Valverde in the Vuelta despite failing to drop the Spaniard on the steep slopes of Alto Calar.

"Today I had good legs and I have attacked, but Valverde also was very strong and it has been impossible to leave him," said Vinokourov. "The Vuelta is not finished, there are still two mountain stages and we will see what happens tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. There is terrain to attack and gain time."

Vinokourov refused to contribute to the pace-making when asked by Valverde on the final climb. "Valverde asked me to mark the pace, but I said to him that I would not and that I was only interested in attacking him."

Meanwhile, Andrey Kashechkin fared worse than his Astana team-mate Vinokourov and lost over a minute to the leaders and his second place overall. Astana directeur sportif Herminio Díaz Zabala explained that Kashechkin, now fourth overall, suffered a small hunger flat, but he recovered after a bad spell.

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