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Vinokourov Takes Liege-Bastogne-Liege

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Vino celebrates his win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Photo: Roberto Bettini
Vino' celebrates his win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Photo: Roberto Bettini

After serving a two-year suspension for doping, Kazakhstani rider Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) made a bold statement regarding his comeback by winning the 96th edition of the storied Liege-Bastogne-Liege race this weekend.

Vino’ outkicked Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) in the final few hundred meters of the tough uphill finish for another victory, five years after winning the race for the first time. Vinokourov and Kolobnev found themselves in a breakaway about 17km from the finish, after some incredible team tactics allowed Vinokourov to get away.

Coming up the final climb, Vino’s Astana teammate Alberto Contador launched a brilliant attack to join race favorites Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) in a lead three man breakaway, causing panic in the peloton as the rest of the race favorites came to the front to chase. As directors and riders alike scrambled to decide what to do about Contador, Schleck, and Gilbert, Vinokourov slipped off the front with Kolobnev on his wheel, seemingly unnoticed by the distracted peloton just as Contador’s group was caught.

In just 2km, the duo had gained nearly 30 seconds as Contador slipped back into the field with a teammate successfully up the road. The Astana team tactics were perfectly executed, and it was then up to Vino’ to do the rest.

A chase group of three strong riders quickly formed as Cadel Evans (BMC) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) joined Gilbert on the front, working furiously to reel in the duo up the road as the kilometers ticked away, but their efforts wouldn’t be enough.

Vinokourov and Kolobnev stayed away, with Vinokourov attacking in the final few hundred meters to drop Kolobnev and take the win with plenty of room for celebration.

The chase group of three didn’t come in until over a minute later, with Valverde beating out Evans and Gilbert on the line as another chase group behind them, led by Andy Schleck and American Chris Horner (Radioshack), came within seconds of catching the trio on the start finish stretch. Schleck took that sprint for 6th, with Horner, the top American, finishing 8th on the day. See a full list of results after the break.

1 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 6:37:48
2 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:06
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:01:04
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank 0:01:07
7 Igor Anton (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
8 Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack
9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Saxo Bank
10 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana
11 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:01:18
12 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team
13 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Transitions
14 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux
15 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
16 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
17 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram
18 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
19 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
20 Carlos Barredo (Spa) Quick Step
21 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
22 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:22
23 J̩r̫me Baugnies (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen РMercator
24 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
25 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:25
26 Xavier Tondo (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
27 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom
28 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
29 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:01:29
30 Xavier Florencio (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam 0:01:33
31 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team
32 Dimitri Champion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
33 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 0:01:45
34 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:01:59
35 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank 0:02:02
36 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram 0:02:08
37 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
38 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
39 Francesco Failli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 0:02:35
40 Juan Jos̩ Oroz (Spa) Euskaltel РEuskadi 0:02:59
41 Egoi Martinez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
42 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0:03:00
43 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:03:18
44 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:05:07
45 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
46 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha
47 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:05:52
48 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha
49 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
50 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Acqua & Sapone 0:06:08
51 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo
52 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Team Radioshack
53 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
54 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:07:05
55 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
56 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
57 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana
58 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Saxo Bank
59 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin – Transitions
60 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank
61 Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator 0:09:34
62 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
63 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
64 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step
65 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
66 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram
67 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68 Ted King (USA) Cervélo TestTeam
69 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Sky Professional Cycling Team
70 Pierre Rolland (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
71 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
72 Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia
73 Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
74 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
75 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Transitions
76 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step
77 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
78 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
79 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
80 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Androni Giocattoli
81 Kristjan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Doimo
82 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
83 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Astana
84 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
85 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank
86 Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
87 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Cervélo TestTeam 0:10:22
88 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC – Columbia 0:12:27
89 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
90 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
91 Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
92 Bart Dockx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
93 Jens Voigt (Ger) Saxo Bank
94 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram
95 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
96 Andrea Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
97 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
98 Laurent Didier (Lux) Saxo Bank
99 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
100 Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC – Columbia
101 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin – Transitions
102 David Loosli (Swi) Lampre-Farnese Vini
103 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
104 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Team Radioshack
105 Peter Velits (Svk) Team HTC – Columbia
106 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana
107 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana
108 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
109 Kjell Carlström (Fin) Sky Professional Cycling Team
110 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Team Radioshack
111 Sergei Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha
112 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha
113 Sergio Paulinho (Por) Team Radioshack
114 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
115 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam
116 Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam
117 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervélo TestTeam
118 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
119 Craig Lewis (USA) Team HTC – Columbia
120 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Team Milram
121 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
122 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) Team HTC – Columbia
123 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha
124 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
125 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
126 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam
127 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:12:35
128 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator 0:16:04
129 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
130 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
131 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
132 Matthew Busche (USA) Team Radioshack
133 Benjamin Gourgue (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
134 Reiner Honig (Ned) Acqua & Sapone 0:17:51
135 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator
136 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
137 Martin Velits (Svk) Team HTC – Columbia
138 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
139 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step
140 Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française Des Jeux

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