Alexander Vinokourov yesterday took his first win since returning from a two-year doping suspension at the Tour de l’Ain.

The Kazakh rider served a two-year ban for testing positive for a blood transfusion during the 2007 Tour de France, but returned to competitive action at the Tour de l’Ain.

Vinokourov voiced his intention to rejoin his erstwhile Astana team during this year’s Tour de France, but has yet to reach an agreement with the team and is currently riding the Tour de l’Ain for the Kazakh national squad.

Vinokourov lost almost four minutes in yesterday morning’s mountainous stage to Mont Jura but won the 8.8km TT from St. Genis to Pouilly in the afternoon.

Clocking a time of 9-50 for the 8.8km, Vinokourov was 10 seconds clear of second place man, Michiel Elijzen of the Silence-Lotto squad.

With another mountainous stage on the agenda today, which finishes atop le Grand Colombier, it is unlikely that Vinokourov, who is currently 3-29 in arrears of race-leader Chris Horner, will attempt to challenge a potential future team-mate.

Whether he is able to overhaul Horner on the 1501 metre-high climb is another matter.

  • Simon Hobson

    The majority view here is that drug cheats such as ‘Vino’ should not be allowed to race again. The suggestion is that the journalists at Cycling Weekly are indirectly colluding with him by reporting on this race and his progress back into the pro peloton and that they should ban themselves from such reporting. The sad truth is that should such a stance be taken then many cycling ‘hero’s’ would be precluded from race reports, team reviews and articles. Those of us that still hold the sport of cycling in reverence do not want there to be more drug scandals (the only time cycling makes it into main stream British media) but, how dull would our magazine/ website be with a self imposed ban on the reporting of these individuals and races.

  • Brian Smart

    I read somewhere about ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’. How many of you have stopped for a coffee or hot chocolate when on a ride? All these riders started out with a love of the sport before the cynicism set in.
    With the current emphasis on testing it will be interesting to see how these people perform when clean. You are also able to compare them with others who are assumed to be clean.
    I think that Millar gives an example to others in that he is able to perform well without the extra assistance from such boosters. The mental attitude has a greater effect than many realise.

  • Brian Smart

    I read somewhere about ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’. How many of you have stopped for a coffee or hot chocolate when on a ride? All these riders started out with a love of the sport before the cynicism set in.
    With the current emphasis on testing it will be interesting to see how these people perform when clean. You are also able to compare them with others who are assumed to be clean.
    I think that Millar gives an example to others in that he is able to perform well without the extra assistance from such boosters. The mental attitude has a greater effect than many realise.

  • Parlee

    No Millar stories is a good idea.

  • DerailedUK used to be funnier

    Phil M makes a strong argument for doping there. Let’s throw some drugs Cadel Evans’s way and see if he finally becomes a class act and a very attacking rider.

  • sjs

    Zero tolerance. Zero publicity. No exceptions. Then we might just believe it when a GB rider stands on the TdeF podium

  • barry neill

    The only participation he should take in the Tour is to sweep the road,s and then maybe Didi’ the Devil could stick his fork up his cheating backside.

  • Phil M

    I still feel as I said at the beginning of these comments – all of the cheats should be banned for life from this sport we all love so much. Perhaps he may not have been such a “class act and a very exciting attaking rider” if he had been clean!

  • Micky S

    Ah, Vino winning a TT. Brings back such wonderful memories of the 07 Tour when… Oh, hold on. Is there any doping control at this minor race?

    And why is he wearing a child’s size helment?

  • Mark A

    In answer to Simon, they should all be banned for life, maybe that way we could clean up pro cycling and have an honest competition. They are cheats full stop.

  • Simon

    So does that mean no Basso stories, No Valverde stories, No Millar stories etc etc etc..the list is endless. Vino has served his ban and has as much right to race as anybody else. He is a class act and a very exciting attacking rider. I personally am glad to see him back

  • SJS

    not read the aricle. why dooesn’t the editor make a moral stand against such unrepentant cheats and refuse to publicise their activities?

  • Konfronto

    Cheers Vino! You are the best! He’s proven his strenght!

  • John Legge

    Why does Cycling Weekly give this cheat any publicity at all. I´m sure most people haven’t the slightest interest in what he does.

  • Phil M

    He shouldn’t be racing – the mans a cheat full stop.