Alexandre Vinokourov answers to the press before Liege

  • Today, the winner of the last edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Alexandre Vinokourov has answered to the press.

    We say: "Never two without three", you have already won Liege-Bastogne-Liege twice ...

    "Of course I'm always motivated to win a beautiful race like Liege. At Paris-Nice in 2004, this sentence came true with my three wins, but we can also consider that Philippe Gilbert would make his third win of the week with Liege, so everything will really be decided this Sunday!

    We felt a change in your performance between Amstel Gold Race and Fleche Wallonne, how do you explain it?

    I've never really felt comfortable in the Amstel Gold Race, I won once in 2003, but I was motivated by the thought of my friend Kivilev who died short time before. Otherwise, I've never had much success in the Amstel, probably cause it’s the first great classic of my season, with a distance of 260 kilometers. For Arrow I felt good and then we took a drive just after the 50km race to go the distance on Sunday.

    How do you think you could beat Philippe Gilbert?

    It's always hard to tell, but it will be decided in a sprint, that's all. Since the beginning of the season, he is in very good shape, among other with his victory in Portugal, his performance in Milan-San Remo, he has an impressive shape! But we can not know in advance, there is also the Schleck brothers who are highly motivated and team Katusha, too, they will tighten the race, I think.

    Do you think there will be a coalition of all against Gilbert?

    I think there will be many people who hope to be without him during the last km, but he has a strong team at the Amstel they have proven they can control a race. But I don’t think it will be all against one, but each for his victory. I will count on the support of Roman Kreuziger who will arrive especially from Italy where he just won a stage in the Tour of Trentino. This is an important victory for the team and for him with the Giro coming.

    The arrival of Roman Kreuziger is important to you?

    Of course, it's important to have a teammate to pass the bumps with me. I also count on Maxim Iglinskiy and Enrico Gasparotto The support of teammates is a lot because it changes many things to be accompanied for the last climb.

    Liege Bastogne Liege is a race that fits you?

    I participated the first time in 1999, at the time I was riding for Casino and the team masseur told me that one day I'll win it. Then the year after I finished 7th, then I was third in 2004 and won the first time in 2005. I love this race, perhaps more than others, there are other impressive classics, but perhaps it fits more with my qualities.

    You won on two different courses, including the coast of La Roche aux Falcons last year, you felt the difference?

    This is one last bump where you can make a difference when you have legs. It also makes a good sorting in the group with around 10 riders heading into St. Nicolas instead of 70 riders at the time when that coast was not on the route.

    You think the action will start from the Coast Stockeu?

    Yes, I think it will start there, there will surely be a break of 3 to 5 riders that will form at that moment.

    Last year you had done the Tour of Trentino before arriving in Liege-Bastogne-Liege this year you spent the week in Belgium, what is the best schedule?

    I will say this Sunday! Sure, here I am calm, with pleasant weather and I like to continue training when I feel that the engine is running, but, we will take stocks on Sunday!

    Last year, your victory was not necessarily welcomed by the entire audience, thou hast suffered?

    Yes, of course, it touched me but it made me think especially about the professional cycling, which is not comparable to football for example. I also thought about the changes in cycling that is a sport which lives with his history and requires bridge between generations and I assure myself a relay. Also, as I told in my opened letter, after my victory, I don’t understand why someone who is allowed to start a race couldn’t be allowed to win it.

    You live in Monaco, as Philippe Gilbert, you are close together?

    We have already trained together a few times, including just before his victory in Strade Bianche! I know him from when he was at the French games, and for some time, we are closer to his wife as I know, they are both very nice.

    Would you like that Philippe integrates the Astana team?

    Yes, I would like if he joined our team, he is a great rider, with the will to win. It is capable of winning on beautiful Classics with his style and his sprint. But after that will depend on the team's strategy, perhaps geared more towards recruiting a winner of stage race than classics winners, but personally, of course I'd like if he joined our team.

    After Liège, what is your program?

    I will then go to the Tour de Romandie for the first time in my career, we'll see how it goes, you never know what can happen when the form is there. I could perhaps make a place or why not target the general. I'm going there to enjoy my current shape and also to support Roman Kreuziger there, give him even more confidence and motivation for the podium of the Giro d'Italia. Then, I’ll take a week off and after altitude training in preparation for the Tour, before returning to competition at the Dauphiné Libéré.

    This year is really your last year?

    Yes, as I said earlier in the season, I see no reason that would change my mind. With my name, with my legs, I could continue for 2 years more, but the only dream I want to achieve is to wear the yellow jersey, that's my goal this year. If I realise it, I had all the victories that I desired. Then, late in the season, I will hold an event in Kazakhstan on the occasion of my departure.And I would like to invite many people to this occasion, as the Schleck brothers by example and a race on the new track in Astana is also planned ...

  • Related Posts

      -- enable recent posts plugin --
  • Comments 5 комментариев

  • Leave a Reply

    Анти-спам: выполните задание