Vinokourov wins first race since comeback

Alexandre Vinokourov

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.

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