Astana boss Alexandre Vinokourov qualifies on first try for Ironman World Championship

The Astana boss finished second in his age category to qualify for the World Championship in Hawaii

Alexandre Vinokourov at stage twenty-one of the 2015 Tour of Spain
(Image credit: Watson)

Alexandre Vinokourov, Team Astana boss and London Olympic road race champion, qualified immediately for the Ironman Hawaii by finishing second in his age category in the Copenhagen event on Sunday.

The Kazakh, 44, completed his first full-distance triathlon at the Ironman Copenhagen second in the 45-49 age category and 41st place overall. He completed the event in nine hours, 4-16 minutes.

>>> Triathlon distances, training and equipment explained

The winner of the 45-49 category Dane Ulrik Jespersen took eight hours, 55-24. The overall winner Frenchman Cyril Viennot finished in seven hours, 59-52.

Vinokourov's times were impressive. He swam the 3.8 kilometres in one hour, 14-36 minutes, rode 180 kilometres in four hours, 19 minutes – eighth best overall at over 41.6kph average speed – and completed the marathon in three hours, 20 minutes. He competed with Team Astana sports director Sergey Yakovlev, who was 24th in the 40-44 age category.

Placing second in his category earned Vinokourov a spot in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii on October 13.

Vinokourov's Astana team has been doing well, too. Sergey Chernetskiy just won the overall in the Arctic Race of Norway on Sunday, while in July, his team won two stages in the Tour de France.

He began team Astana after Liberty Seguros pulled the sponsorship in the 2006 season due to the Operación Puerto doping scandal. He tested positive for blood doping in the 2007 Tour de France after winning two stages.

Vinokourov returned to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège for a second time in 2005 and the 2012 London Olympic road race before retiring and taking over the team's management. He began his professional cycling career in 1998 with French team Casiono-Ag2r, and won the Vuelta a España overall, four stages of the Tour de France and two editions of Paris-Nice overall in his career.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).