Revenge is Sweet and Swift for Vinokourov in Tour de France 2010

News & Results

07/17/2010| 0 comments
by Reuters, with additional commentary by
Alexander Vinokourov wins stage 13 of the Tour de France 2010. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Alexander Vinokourov wins stage 13 of the Tour de France 2010. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Revenge is Sweet and Swift for Vinokourov in Tour de France 2010

Kazakh narrowly missed victory on Friday when he was caught 1km from line by Astana teammate Alberto Contador.

Alexandre Vinokourov enjoyed swift redemption when he surged in the final climb to Revel to win the 13th stage of the Tour de France 2010 earlier today.

The Kazakh, right-hand man to defending champion Alberto Contador, had narrowly missed victory in Mende on Friday when he was caught one kilometre from the line by Contador.

"There was a little something missing from yesterday but that's cycling," ‘Vino' told reporters after crossing the line 13 seconds before the peloton.

Briton Mark Cavendish outsprinted the main bunch to take second place in the 196-km ride ahead of Italian Alessandro Petacchi.

"I decided to try again and this is a great reward," Vinokourov added.

After the finish line, he fell into the arms of Contador with tears in his eyes.

"I am extremely happy," Contador said. "When he jumped from the pack, I tried to get to the front of the peloton to slow their pace. He won and I'm more happy than if I'd won myself."

Vinokourov's victory continued a tradition in Revel, for the previous five stage winners in the south-western town near Toulouse were escapees.

It was his fourth Tour victory after two in 2005 and one in 2003. He also won two stages in 2007 but those victories were erased from the record books after he failed a drugs test for a blood transfusion.

He came back from a two-year suspension in August last year and signalled his return to form by winning his second Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic.

"I showed how hard I worked during my two-year ban and that I was still capable of winning," he said.

In the week to come, the 2006 Spanish Vuelta winner will return to his role as Contador's main aide in the Pyrenees as the Spaniard battles race leader Andy Schleck.

Sunday's 184.5-kms 14th stage takes the bunch to the ski resort of Ax 3 Domaines after two demanding climbs, including the intimidating Port de Pailheres 30 kms from the finish.

"Alberto is going to be strong, for sure," Schleck said. "I saw him this morning and he told me, ‘Let's stay quiet today and we'll battle tomorrow'.

"I'm a little bit nervous because tomorrow is the first stage in the Pyrenees and the Tour enters its decisive week."

The Luxembourg rider leads Contador by 31 seconds overall with Spain's Samuel Sanchez third, 2:45 adrift.

In the battle for the points classification, Petacchi reclaimed top spot from Norway's Thor Hushovd. Cavendish is only 25 points behind the Italian and can still entertain green jersey hopes.

The stage was marked by a breakaway by three solid riders, France's Sylvain Chavanel and Pierrick Fedrigo and Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha.

They were caught 10 kms from the finish line, shortly before Vinokourov made his move in the St Ferreol climb.

Seven-times champion Lance Armstrong crashed in the neutral zone before the start but made it to the finish with bruises on his elbow.

Now 36th overall and with no chance to make it on the podium in Paris, the 38-year-old American crossed the line 4:35 behind Vinokourov.

He left in his private car after signing a few autographs.

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment