Alexandre Vinokourov «I deserve another chance»

    • Filled in News in English 10 Март 2010 в 1:14, author: Cristal
    • Views: 12 115.

    The co-leader of the Astana team will be departing tomorrow, Tirreno-Adriatico (where he finished 3rd in 2007) while Alberto Contador held the other scene since Sunday on Paris-Nice. Alexandre Vinokourov who began his 2010 season at the Tour Mediterranean in France, relies heavily on the Italian event to sign a comeback.
    The Kazakh is the point.

    Is the race Tirreno-Adriatico your real season start?
    It represents a lot to me because if I used to run in Paris-Nice last few years, I have not forgotten that 3 years ago, I finished 3rd in this race. This year is even more special, I feel like starting a new career by participating in Tirreno.

    And you feel motivated as a junior.
    This is indeed the case. For two years I had not experienced the joys of a season. These are moments that I want to enjoy fully because I know there won’t be so many to come.

    Your goals have changed?
    I am realistic, I am not anymore twenty years old and I know that my best years are behind me. But this is not because I'm 36 years I'll give up. If I have decided to continue my career it’s because I know I still have things to do on a bike.

    What are your goals?
    I do not want to settle down. It is also the privilege of age, to say that I have nothing to prove. Everything I do from now on will only be a bonus. In French, we say that this is the cherry on the cake, that's it, everything I earn from now will be good to enjoy.

    You look more radiant than before.
    No doubt the hardships of life made me think. I kown a first in the early 2000s with the disappearance of my friend Andrei Kivilev, that really shocked me. This drama gave me much strength for the rest of my career, it also helped me to relativize the matters. Like what happened during the Tour de France 2007.

    This episode could have made you leave the bike scene.
    That's what I thought instantly. The shock of the event was terrible to accept, not only for me but for my relatives and my fans. It was a real annoyance to be thrown on the roadside like a bandit without the right nor the means to defend itself, and even less the opportunity to give some explanations.

    That's what everybody expected, however.
    One day perhaps I should have the opportunity to do it when everything will be calm, when life will have returned to normal. In my country in Kazakhstan, we hate conflicts and tensions. We prefer to let the storm pass before to let appear the truth.

    You blame nobody?
    I am not vindictive, it is not in my mentality. Besides, I have no reason to be because I am now back on a bike to compete at the highest-level. What I was the most disturbed by in recent years, was from being in the center of a controversy which stained the image of my sport. I never wanted that.

    Do you feel accountable to the cycling?
    In a way yes. If I have hurt my sport through the case of the Tour de France 2007, I am here today to be forgotten. I always maintained my innocence, but when nobody listens to you, you should know to let it go. I quickly realized this, and this is the reason why I asked my lawyer to stop my legal proceedings. I did not want it to get worst and longer.

    Do you feel that you have paid?
    Accepting the two-year ban was a way for me to say "ok, well, if I have to go through it to find my place in the world of cycling, so let's go. "

    What vision of you does the world of cycling have?
    I felt no resentment since my return in August. Instead, I feel that everyone was happy to see me. My popularity is still the same, and what matters most: the expressions of support from the fans never missed.

    Will you get to the start of the next Tour de France?
    I have no confidence and I understand the prudence of the organizers. They enforce their race which is the most beautiful contest in the world. If I am returned to competition, it is also to show that I am a runner honest and right. I deserve another chance, and it is also for me to grasp.

    You have the support of the Astana team.
    This team is built to help Alberto Contador win the Tour de France a third time. I'd love to help, and to know, once my career is over, that I helped my leader as a crew member to win the Tour. The Kazakh follow cycling with passion, this would be the best gift to them. For this time, that would really be a team victory, also associated with my name. This is also a way to prove that our team than everyone imagines lower than in other years, has a foolproof mental. "


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