Vinokourov Wins Dauphine Libere TT, Takes Race Lead
Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) has won Stage 3 of the Dauphine Libere. The Kazakh rider won the rolling, 40.7-km time trial at Anneyron in 52:08. Andrei Kaschechkin, Vinokourov?s teammate, took second at 0:08, and David Zabriskie (CSC) finished third at 0:38. Vinokourov has taken the overall lead from Christophe Moreau (Ag2r).
Vinokourov was the fastest rider at both checkpoints. He is riding the Dauphine Libere to prepare for the Tour de France. He was happy to win today?s time trial, but he intends to let Kaschechkin try to win the overall.
The time trial was competitive, with 10 riders finishing within 1:45 of Vinokourov. Tour hopefuls such as Cadel Evans (Predictor, fourth at 0:39), Denis Menchov (Rabobank, fifth at 0:40), and Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel, eighth at 1:11) put their cards on the table. In addition, these riders positioned themselves for runs at the overall victory in this race, which many ride to sharpen for the Tour de France and others ride to win.
In the overall, Vinokourov leads Kaschechkin by 0:02 and Zabriskie by 0:32. Stage 4 will be another standing shaker. The 197-km ride from Hauterives to Mont Ventoux will feature four climbs, three Category 4 ascents and the hors categorie finishing climb. Anyone who aspires to win the Dauphine Libere must finish in or near the lead tomorrow. Who will do so? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!