Vinokourov to manage Kazakh Astana team?

Saturday, July 1, 2006 11.00pm
After his team were unceremoniously dumped out of the Tour de France on Friday, Alexandre Vinokourov

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Alexandre Vinokourov, prevented from starting the Tour de France when five of his Astana team-mates were ejected from the race on Friday, has said that he plans to establish his team as a Kazakh set-up for which he will eventually act as directeur sportif.

Speaking to Spanish sports daily Marca, Vinokourov said he hopes that the Active Bay company that owns the Astana team will take up a Kazakh licence and that the part of Active Bay that belongs to recently arrested team boss Manolo Saiz will pass over to Kazakh ownership. He added that he hopes to become the team's manager within the next two seasons.

Vinokourov said he didn't want to judge Saiz "because I don't have all the facts to hand, but I now understand much better why there is war between Saiz and race organisers. He must leave cycling and not come back to it. This was my last chance to win the Tour and I've been denied it."

Vinokourov is now hoping to focus on the world championships in an attempt to salvage something from "this crap season".

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