Vino's form test gives stage win

Alexandre Vinokourov's stage win on Mont Ventoux at the Dauphiné Libéré means that his T-Mobile squa

Alexandre Vinokourov's stage win on Mont Ventoux at the Dauphiné Libéré means that his T-Mobile squa
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM When, in late April, Alexandre Vinokourov won Lige-Bastogne-Lige, he took a big load off the T-Mobile team that, up to that moment, had been facing a winless season. In Thursday's stage to Mont Ventoux in the Dauphin Libr, the Kazakh once again proved not only his high class as a rider but also his importance to the German team by taking the stage win, writes Susanne Horsdal. As usual, Vinokourov proved his attacking nature. At the bottom of the climb, he was quick to follow Wim van Huffel when the Belgian broke away, and once Vinokourov, Van Huffel and Jose Gomez Marchante had established themselves in the front, 'Vino' went again with 900 metres to go. Not managing to drop them the first time, he repeated the attack with 300 metres left of the 182 kilometre-long stage and couldn't be followed. "This was a test before the Tour. I wanted to know how I felt in the mountains. I've done a lot of training, but it's not racing. Today I was surrounded by the best riders, so now I know," explained the T-Mobile-rider who's currently in third on the overall classificaion, 26 seconds down on Levi Leipheimer and 6 seconds on Lance Armstrong. "Winning on Mont Ventoux puts you into the history books, but winning the Dauphin is not an objective for me. It's about getting ready for the Tour," said Vinokourov, who won the race in 1999. With his strong performances so far this year, the obvious question is what role he'll play in the German team's Tour hierarchy. "Jan and I are the leaders, but there's also Andreas Klden. He lost time today, but he will be there in the mountains to help us, and we're going to attack. The objective is to isolate Lance Armstrong. That one of us wins is all that matters. We don't want to finish second or third," stressed the Kazakh.
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