Alexander Vinokourov: "The Vuelta is the sports revenge of the Tour de France"

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18.09.2006/ Alexander Vinokourov offered on Saturday, after he won the last time trial of the Vuelta a España, the final Press conference of this edition of the race, which he won yesterday.

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Alexander Vinokourov (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Today you are 33 years old, has this victory been a good gift ?


Yes, undoubtedly it is a good gift for me. This morning I was very motivated to win and I have got it.


Sunday is a similar stage to that of last year in the Champs Elysées, which you won. Will you repeat that in the Vuelta a España?


Not, I believe that was already enough with the Tour de France. Tomorrow it is a day to be calm and I hope that it is possible.


What is your program until the end of season?


After the Vuelta I will ride the Worlds and then my season will be finished.


Can you explain your friendship with Kashechkin and how he has helped you to win the Vuelta?


Kash is a good friend whom I know since i was 8 years old. This one has been his second big tour and I believe that he will perform very good in the future. In the last day of the mountains he did a great work for me.


The final victory in the Vuelta and your three stages do they compensate your exclusion of the Tour?


As I repeat always, it was not an exclusion, it was an injustice, because Paulinho and Contador were liberated of everything after the Tour. The Vuelta is a good motivation to go to the Tour 2007 with even more desire to win.


What means this victory for Kazakhstan?


Thanks to the help of the Prime minister we found a sponsor and now the Vuelta is a great victory and a big celebration for the whole country. Next year I want to win the Tour to fulfill my dream.


Who will be your rivals?


I believe that Valverde, because he is young and has demonstrated here that he is very strong, Cunego and maybe Basso, if he overcomes his problems.


You have obtained your sports revenge on the Tour, will you look also for an economic and legal revenge?


Yes, the Vuelta is a sports revenge, as I could demonstrate directly to Christian Prudhome (general manager of the Tour). Also I believe that the Tour, like Lance Armstrong did, I can win it with 33 years, but it is difficult to think about legal revenge due to the ethical code. There is not much i can do in that sense.


You have been very strong in the last week, was it a benefit not to have done the Tour?


Yes, I have come to the Vuelta with only 30 days of competition and it has helped me very much in the third week of race.


You have two more years of contract with Manolo Saiz, how will it be possible to arrange the future?


Manolo Saiz has all my respect, I believe that he is an intelligent person and knows that I was the one who brought this sponsor. I believe that it would be very complicated if he won't let us go. I hope that he releases me out of the contract, because it is very difficult to take part with him in the Tour.

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