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Vinokourov collects Chihuahua crown

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Alexandre Vinokourov wins in Chihuahua

Alexandre Vinokourov wins in Chihuahua (Image credit: Gilberto Gonzalez)
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Many stars of the European peloton competed in the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium.

Many stars of the European peloton competed in the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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On the attack in Chihuahua.

On the attack in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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The peloton makes its way around the 4.4km circuit in Chihuahua.

The peloton makes its way around the 4.4km circuit in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) bides his time.

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) bides his time. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Kazakh stalwart Alexandre Vinokourov wins in Chihuahua.

Kazakh stalwart Alexandre Vinokourov wins in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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Ivan Basso lines up in Chihuahua.

Ivan Basso lines up in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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The eventual podium before the start (l-r): Samuel Sanchez, Alexandre Vinokourov and Andy Schleck.

The eventual podium before the start (l-r): Samuel Sanchez, Alexandre Vinokourov and Andy Schleck. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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The first attack came from Ivan Gutierrez and local boy Bernardo Colex.

The first attack came from Ivan Gutierrez and local boy Bernardo Colex. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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Saxo Bank star Frank Schleck rode in Chihuahua.

Saxo Bank star Frank Schleck rode in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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UCI America Tour leader Gregorio Ladino.

UCI America Tour leader Gregorio Ladino. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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Giro winner Ivan Basso was in Chihuahua.

Giro winner Ivan Basso was in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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Francisco Mancebo leads the Liquigas-Doimo boys.

Francisco Mancebo leads the Liquigas-Doimo boys. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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The podium with the Chihuahua Governor.

The podium with the Chihuahua Governor. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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The stars line up with the best Mexican riders at the presentation.

The stars line up with the best Mexican riders at the presentation. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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So cute, you could almost eat it...

So cute, you could almost eat it... (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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Winner Alexandre Vinokourov and the Chihuahua Governor with Vino's new dog.

Winner Alexandre Vinokourov and the Chihuahua Governor with Vino's new dog. (Image credit: Wenceslao Rodriguez/www.wrsimagenes.com.mx)
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2010 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Doimo)

2010 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Doimo) (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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All smiles for Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)

All smiles for Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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It was a beautiful day for racing and snapping photos in Chihuahua.

It was a beautiful day for racing and snapping photos in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Eyes on the back of the head?

Eyes on the back of the head? (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) on the attack.

Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank) on the attack. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) powers the break.

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) powers the break. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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The peloton in action at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium.

The peloton in action at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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UCI America Tour leader Gregorio Ladino, left, awaits the start.

UCI America Tour leader Gregorio Ladino, left, awaits the start. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Gruppo compatto at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium.

Gruppo compatto at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Calm before the storm in Chihuahua.

Calm before the storm in Chihuahua. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) keeps close tabs on his rivals.

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) keeps close tabs on his rivals. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Zalf Desiree Fior riders relax before the start.

Zalf Desiree Fior riders relax before the start. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck and Jakob Fuglsang.

Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck and Jakob Fuglsang. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Liquigas-Doimo riders sign on.

Liquigas-Doimo riders sign on. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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An early break at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium.

An early break at the Vuelta Chihuahua Criterium. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Xacobeo Galicia riders await the start.

Xacobeo Galicia riders await the start. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) made the early break.

Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) made the early break. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) sets the pace.

Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) sets the pace. (Image credit: Fotografia Deportiva / www.basurero.net)
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Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck before the start.

Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck before the start. (Image credit: Gilberto Gonzalez)
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Juan Ruacho leads the peloton.

Juan Ruacho leads the peloton. (Image credit: Gilberto Gonzalez)
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Francisco Mancebo leads Ivan Basso and Ivan Borunda.

Francisco Mancebo leads Ivan Basso and Ivan Borunda. (Image credit: Gilberto Gonzalez)
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Alexandre Vinokourov (l) and Andy Schleck before the start.

Alexandre Vinokourov (l) and Andy Schleck before the start. (Image credit: Gilberto Gonzalez)

Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov made the most of his trip to Mexico and took out this year's Criterium Chihuahua ahead of a star-studded field that included Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel), who took second and third respectively.

Held on a street circuit of 4.4km, the 15-lap event was a chance for Mexican riders to make life difficult for their European counterparts and they tried their best to do so.

On lap three a quartet formed with Peter Sagan (Liquigas), Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne), Bernardo Colex (Puebla) and Andy Schleck, although it was a front group that included these four plus Vinokurov, Sanchez, Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha), Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and Mexican riders Cesar Vaquera and Enrique Mendez that made the race at the front.

This group had about a minute on the peloton until the last lap when Sanchez, Schleck and Vinokourov escaped, leaving their companions behind and fighting it out for line honours.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
2Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank
3Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

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