Alexander Vinokourov, general manager of the Astana team that won the Tour de France through Vincenzo Nibali last year but which subsequently became embroiled in a doping scandal, has stepped down as ambassador to Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
As perhaps Kazakhstan’s highest profile athlete, Vinokourov, who won the road race at London 2012, was a natural candidate to spearhead his country’s bid to host an Olympic Games for the first time.
Alexander Vinokourov, winner of the Vuelta in 2006 plus three classics and a string of one-week stage races, but perhaps best remembered for being thrown out of the 2007 Tour de France for doping, has announced his retirement. The news isn’t entirely unexpected – the 37-year-old Kazakh, who broke his femur in a crash on Stage 9 of the Tour de France last Sunday, had planned to retire at the end of this season.
Alexander Vinokourov’s often controversial career appears to be over, cut short after the Kazakh rider fractured his femur after falling into a ravine with 100km left to ride of today’s Stage 9 from Issoire to St Flour.
John Degenkolb of HTC-Highroad this afternon took Stage 2 of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné, the 22-year-old German first year professional proving the strongest rider at the finale on the climb of the Côte de la Croix-Rousse in Lyon. Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis was second and AG2R's Sebastien Hinault third.
Lars Boom of Rabobank, a former world cyclo-cross champion and also an expert time trialler, won today's Prologue of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, with Alexander Vinokourov of Astana second and Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins third.
Liquigas-Doimo rider Franco Pellizotti has been exonerated of manipulating his biological passport by the Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping (TNA), the national anti-doping tribunal CONI, the Italian Olympic committee.
Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov, thrown out of the 2007 Tour de France after testing positive for an illegal blood transfusion, insisted that he is a reformed character following yesterday’s stunning win in Revel, which came just 24 hours after he had almost pulled off an equally daring victory at Mende.
The general classification was sensationally turned on its head in the Giro d’Italia today as Richie Porte of Team Saxo Bank took the race leader’s maglia rosa from Alexandre Vinokourov after getting into a 56 man escape group that headed off the front of the peloton 20km into the day’s stage.
Matt Goss of HTC-Columbia claimed a surprise victory in Stage 9 of the Giro d’Italia in Cava de’ Tirreni this afternoon, as team-mate André Greipel again failed to capitalise on a sterling effort from the US ProTour team, which had spent the day driving the peloton forward to keep a four-man break in check. Pippo Pozzatto of Katusha and Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions were second and third.
Chris Anker Sorensen of Team Saxo Bank this afternoon scored the biggest victory of his career, winning Stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia after pedalling his way alone up through the mist to the summit finish on the Terminillo in the first mountain stage of this year’s race.