Tour de France 2010, stage 13 photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Alexandre Vinokourov marked his comeback to the Tour de France today in Revel with a stage win. The Kazakh marked three years since he last astonished fans with his aggressive wins that were subsequently tainted by a blood doping positive.

“Staring the race was already an important step for me,” Vino explained. “So this win means a lot.”

Vinokourov nearly won yesterday after an all-day escape, which was caught by team leader Alberto Contador and Luis León Sánchez in the last kilometre. He bounced back today, though, three years after leaving the Tour de France in disgrace.

In 2007, he led Astana at the Tour de France. He struggled, but came away with a time trial win over Cadel Evans and a mountain stage win in Loudenvielle. One day later, he tested positive for a blood transfusion.

Vinokourov never confessed to doping, but said that he would retire after he was caught. He only received a two-year suspension when the UCI heard he planned to return.

Contador joined the team while Vinokourov was away, though he and Astana were not allowed to race the 2008 Tour de France. He instead went on to win the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España that year.

Vinokourov said at the start of this year that he is at the Tour de France only to help Contador win the overall. Yesterday and today, though, he was allowed his freedom for a stage win.

“After the stage, you could see that he [Contador] was happy for my win,” added Vinokourov. “It’s an important win for the whole team ahead of four mountain days in the Pyrenees.”

Contador trails Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) by 31 seconds in the overall classification.

HTC-Columbia had hoped the stage ending in a sprint for Mark Cavendish. It worked in the final kilometres, but the Saint-Ferréol climb with 7.5 kilometres to go proved too much. Vinokourov slipped away after an attack from Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing), Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne).

Cavendish secured the sprint for second, taking 30 points and moving within 25 points of the green jersey and sprint classification leader, Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre).

“When Vinokourov went, he went so, so fast. It was an incredible ride from Vinokourov. He deserved the win and to hold off the peloton, it was a very impressive ride. I had to settle for second,” said Cavendish.

“We can be satisfied with second. It’s about minimising my losses now. I lost a lot of points in that first week and it’s just about minimising my losses and seeing where we go when we get to Paris.”

Sky’s Juan Antonio Flecha took points in both of the two intermediate sprints today. He joined an early escape with Frenchmen Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and winner of two stages in this year’s Tour de France, Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step).

Their move lasted until the final ten kilometres, just prior to the Saint Ferréol climb.

“It was not the goal to be in the breakaway today,” said Flecha. “But we had to be in the front in case a good breakaway was going and I was there and I was feeling good today.”

He said he had thought about his only other Tour de France stage win during the race. When he won just 50 kilometres away from Revel in Toulouse ten years ago, in 2003.

RESULTS

Tour de France 2010, stage 13: Rodez to Revel, 196km

1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana


2. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia at 13sec

3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at same time

4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky

5. Jose Joaquin Rojas Spa) Caisse d’Epargne

6. Julian Dean (NZ) Garmin-Transitions

7. Anthony Geslin (Fra) Francaise des Jeux

8. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo

9. Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini

10. Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale

Overall classification after stage 13

1. Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank


2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana at 31sec

3. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 2-45

4. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 2-58

5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma Lotto at 3-31

6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack at 4-06

7. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 4-27

8. Joaquin Rodriguez (Esp) Katusha 4-58

9. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Caisse d’Epargne 5-02

10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 5-16

Other

16. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky at 7-39

Points classification: Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini

Mountains classificaton:
Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom

Best young rider:
Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank

Team:
RadioShack

Cavendish wins sprint for second, Tour de France 2010, stage 13



Mark Cavendish wins sprint for second place

Andy Schleck on podium, Tour de France 2010, stage 13



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  • IAN COULTHARD

    If you take drugs you should be banned for good. end of. what a great example to all the kids out there- it’s ok to cheat cos you’ll only get a slap on the wrist and then ‘normal’ service will be resumed. Guys like this are extracting the urine in a major way against all those who would love to be on the tour- ordinary working guys who don’t have the ability to get anywhere near a pro peloton but love the sport. and i include Saint david Millar in this shamed collection of drug cheats too. if you take drugs you are out in my book. anything else sends out the wrong message as well as been extremely morally questionable..

  • k-bobb

    i think vino rocks!!!

    and he’s probably more honest than a lot of riders in the pelaton portraying a squeaky clean image…

    he’s back, he’s jacked and he’s kickin ass!!!

    (flame on!!!) :0)

  • borderfox

    interesting how ITV asked Vino about his drug related past but then never once commented on Alessandro Petacchi`s past mister meena with an inhailor strange isnt it

  • Stuart Briggs

    I left this comment the other day but it still fits, I just did not mention about some of the other Cyclist that appear to have cheated-admitted or not. My comment;

    “Hmmm. Do you know, I love cycling. Various folks have admitted wrong doing within our sport but what are they doing know-they work super hard to rid the sport of cheats and to bring valued new sponsors in; Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel, David Miller-all admitted guilt but now fantastic for our sport.

    Lance Armstrong-leave him alone, I would actually think for a great person with the Cancer ‘Thing’ then he could not possibly mess with his body!!! C’mon folks leave it out, he is yet another great cyclist who brings out new sponsors and interest.

    The only person I do not like is-Riccardo Riccò, He laughs and jokes comparing his cheating to that of other sports using tax evasion as similar to what he did WTF!!!

    19 Questions cycling weekly which frankly I could not give a flyer about… Get on with now and the future or loose readers.”

    Yeah Vino also appears to have cheated ‘in my previous cycling life…’ But he is another who brings huge sponsor and attention into our sport-lets just hope they really are now clean and without any Everyready AAA batteries in those bikes!!!

  • arronski

    Vino’s a drug cheat, that never came clean!

  • martin

    blah blah blah

    this guy should not be allowed to compete

    full stop

  • Darb

    With the obvious aside, this was a great stage win for Vino. But I couldn’t jump out of my chair with excitement – because it was Vino.

  • Paul W

    “It was an incredible ride from Vinokourov” Cavendish yet again being the sporting gentleman. Unlike the scum presenters from ITV 4 that could only ask about Vinokourov’s past problems.

  • neil duerden

    Until or unless this man admits blood doping at the 2007 Tour&other races then I regard his presence in the peloton as an affront & insult to all cycling fans.

    Perhaps this win-& his Liege-Bastogne-Liege win in April-confirm that one can succeed as a pro cyclist through sheer hard work &talent not doping.

    WHY Vino??

  • Colin

    The article says “Cavendish secured the sprint for second, taking 30 points and moving within 12 points of the green jersey and sprint classification leader, Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam).”

    Hushovd isn’t the leader in the points jersey and Cav isn’t 12 points back. He’s 25 points back of Petacchi.