Blog: Astana back in 2009 Tour?

The drama continues

Alexandre Vinokourov: the calm before the 2007 Tour storm

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Whether you were ever a US Postal/Discovery fan or not, former manager Johan Bruyneel has certainly been punished for having taken over the reins at Kazakh-backed ProTour team Astana this year.

With the Tour of Spain organisers choosing to invite the Astana squad to their event – persuaded, no doubt, by the promise of 2007 Tour de France champ Alberto Contador bringing a much-needed star element to their event – the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France organisers had remained staunchly against their participation. ASO were the most vociferous, saying they didn’t want to risk a repeat of the team shaming their July extravaganza, as it had done with team leader Alexandre Vinokourov last year, while the Giro had muttered something about the team disrespecting their event by originally not wanting to send a strong team, promptly inviting the world-famous NGC team instead.

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