Alexandre Vinokourov, the disgraced Astana rider from Kazakhstan, who was kicked out of the Tour de France last year for blood doping, says he wants to race again in 2009 for his old team, Astana. Vinokourov had “retired” from cycling, but perhaps Lance Armstrong’s coming out of retirement must have inspired him to do the same. Vino says he won’t ride the Tour but perhaps the Giro d’Italia. Alberto Contador, who has also recently joined Astana, prefers Vino to Armstrong.
“Contador thinks teaming with Armstrong would be trickier to manage than with Vinokourov, whose return still has to be cleared by the International CyclingÂ Union . . . Contador described his working relationship with Armstrong as “very good” but said having two riders fighting for the same Tour title would create a “delicate” situation within theÂ team.” (from IHT)