Shorts: Vinokourov, Gadret

What now for Vinokourov following Liberty Seguros pulling out of sponsorship? And France's new hope,




Following the news that Liberty Seguros are to pull out as main sponsors of the Liberty Seguros-Wurth team following team manager Manolo Saiz’s arrest, there has been much speculation as to what team leader Alexandre Vinokourov would do, with the Tour de France just five weeks away.

French squad Cofidis had been thought to be interested in signing the Kazakh star, but Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer vehemently denied it on Friday.

“There has been no contact with Vinokourov, or any of his representatives, and there won’t be,” Boyer told French sports newspaper L’Equipe. “We will not be taking on any other riders.”

Procycling has also learned of an alleged interest from Belgian team, who would surely be one of the candidates for a Tour de France place if Liberty Seguros-Wurth – or the team in a new guise – was to be prevented from starting the Tour as a result of the ongoing investigations.

– After procycling having ‘introduced’ Ag2r’s John Gadret just two days ago, the new French star was brought down to earth with a bump on Thursday, when he crashed and broke his collarbone.

The current French cyclo-cross champion fell around 90km into stage 18 between Sillian and Gimona del Friuli, and was taken to hospital in Tolmezzo, where the fracture was confirmed.


The unfortunate Gadret had really begun to find his climbing legs at this year’s Giro, exciting the French press in particular with his sixth place on Wednesday’s 17th stage coming off the back of fifth place on Tuesday’s stage and seventh on Saturday’s 13th stage. He had been in 27th place on the general classification, and would have been looking to improve on that on Friday’s tough mountain stage with its finish on the Passo di San Pellegrino.