Alexandre Vinokourov will ride the Vuelta a España for the Astana team according to an official team press release.
Vinokourov served a two-year suspension from professional cycling after testing positive for a homologous blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France whilst in Astana colours.
The Kazakh rider recently returned to action at the Tour de l’Ain for the Kazakh national team as he had yet to reach an agreement with the Astana team manager, Johan Bruyneel.
Vinokourov stated at the start of the Tour de France this year that Astana, a team which he helped to create in 2006, would have to take back the Kazakh else Bruyneel would be forced to leave the team.
Vinokourov and the Kazakh consortium of sponsors that support the team carry significant bargaining power, arguably facilitating his return to the team. The fact that Bruyneel is likely to follow Lance Armstrong to the newly-founded Radio Shack team for 2010 is also a contributing factor in the Kazakh’s return.
Vinokourov’s first race for the team will be the Vuelta, which starts next Saturday in Assen in the Netherlands. Vinokourov, who won the Tour of Spain in 2006 has signed a contract with Team Astana till the end of 2010.
Astana line-up for the Vuelta: Assan Bazayev, Maxim Iglinskiy, Jesús Hernández, Chris Horner, Daniel Navarro, José Luis Rubiera, Michael Schär, Alexandre Vinokourov and Haimar Zubeldia
Directeurs sportif: Sean Yates and Alexandre Shefer

Related links

Vinokourov makes return to racing

Tour de France 2007: Vinokourov tests positive

  • matt Phillips

    Vino has served his ban, he has as much right to ride as anyone else (David Millar is riding isn’t he?). If the only athletes allowed to ride were the clean ones (re: martiin s) the peleton would be pretty spartan. I find it more unjust that Valverde is allowed to ride having not faced any suspension.

  • Martin S

    Completely agree. Vino should not be allowed to rid competitively again. A lifetime ban is the only answer to this problem as it’s the only way to weed out the cheats permanently so the only athletes left are the clean ones.

  • felix oliver-tasker

    This is a disgrace. When will the international cycling body that regulates our sport stand up and be counted? Any cyclist found guilty of using illegal methods to enhance their performance must be banned for life. This is the only way our sport will clean up its image. The people who use these methods taint the whole of the sport whether its at professional or amateur levels. The cheats are tarring us all with the same brush. Get rid of them once and for all.

    Felix Oliver-Tasker