My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

It's Vino time!

Category: Cycling

Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov finished 3rd in Tirreno-Adriatico and is one of the favourite to the Critérium International in the French Ardennes this weekend. But Vinokourov doesn't care. 
"There's only one race I want to win this year, it's the Tour de France," he said on Friday. "I've already won everything else I wanted - except from the World Championship."

He is my favourite to the Tour victory, and to him, "winning the Tour is this year or never. Here at the Critérium International, I have the opportunity to race against Damiano Cunego, Alejandro Valverde or Luis Leon Sanchez but they might be in a different state of form as me because everyone has a different programme. Cunego might be in form earlier because of the Giro. I only focus on building my condition and my team for the Tour de France."

Critérium International is one of Vino's tests before the Tour, even though the Tour de France doesn't take part before July. He must feel quite good; otherwise it will be difficult to win the Tour. 
  Only days before the Tour de France begins in London this year Vinokourov and Kasheschkin, plus seven or eight riders from the Astana team will take part in the championship of Kazakhstan, after which they will fly directly to London for the start of the Tour de France. Vinokourov must feel strong after that trip. I wonder though if Vinokourov is thinking of retire. He has a lovely wife, and three kids. Maybe he wants to spend some times with his family. He isn't pure young anymore; I will feel so sad when he retires. And maybe this year his dream will come true.

But the Tour de France is far away and he has to think of the Critérium International.
"I hope to do a good time trial on Sunday afternoon. I did some testing in a wind tunnel and I know that I have to improve my position yet. Maybe I'll do the hill climb stage with the best riders. With the condition of Tirreno-Adriatico, I can make a top 10 here."

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