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September 18, 2006

Vinokourov has 1st Grand Tour with Vuelta win

Eurosport | Vinokourov wins Vuelta Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov salvaged his season, and the Liberty Seguros/Würth/Astaná team's as well, with a win in the Vuelta a España. Vinokourov and Astaná were barred from the Tour de France because several of the team's riders were implicated by Spanish officials in the Operación Puerto investigation. Vinokourov was not implicated, but Astaná found themselves with only 4 riders, not enough to start the race. Vinokourov railed at the time that organizers had deprived him of his last chance to win the Tour, but Sunday, buoyed by his impending victories, he sang another tune. Vinokourov told Eurosport the Vuelta win is “what I needed to be competitive in the 2007 Tour de France.” Vinokourov took 3 stages of the race, including the Saturday time trial on his 33rd birthday. Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde, the pre-race favorite, was 2nd overall, 1:12 back, with Vinokourov's teammate Andrey Kashechkin third, at 3:12. Milram's antique sprinter, Erik Zabel, showed he's still got some gas with a win in the Vuelta's final stage on Sunday. Also: CyclingNews.com | First Grand Tour for Vinokourov; another stage win for Zabel | Results | Overall Standings | Photo Gallery GrahamWatson.com | Vuelta a España Stage 21

Posted by Frank Steele on September 18, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Erik Zabel, Top Stories, Vuelta a España, Vuelta a España 2006 | Permalink

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