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Vinokourov and Astana confirm for 2012

Alexandre Vinokourov has confirmed that he will ride the 2012 season for team Astana.  It was, however, left unclear as to what his future role at the team would be.

The 38-year-old crashed out of the Tour de France with a broken femur, and it was assumed his career was over.  Recently, however, he said he wanted to return and criticised team management which he said apparently wanted to get him “out of the way.”

He announced that he would ride the Tour of Lombardy next month and then the full season next year at a press conference on Wednesday at the headquarters of team sponsor Samruk-Kazyna in Kazakhstan.

"If I want to continue it's also for the Astana Team. The last two years I have achieved good results and I want my team to get the benefits of this, I can’t leave it like that, and I have to stay also for my country. I started training and as announced I will be at the start of the next Tour of Lombardy, and ready to go for another season on the road!"

Vinokourov said last week that government officials assured him that he will be the team manager.  Yesterday, he said “I will continue to be in contact with the team manager Giuseppe Martinelli to guide new generations of riders for the upcoming Olympic Games, and where Kazakhstan will be well represented, moreover with the good result of Alexander Dyachenko in UCI World Championship time trial yesterday, that puts Kazakhstan among the best nations, and to build a great future Astana team in preparation for 2013. "

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