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Vinokourov Tour bid in the balance


superman2007
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Posted on 13 July 2007 - 08:53

 

http://images.supersport.co.za/VinokourovAlexandre070712InactionAIbg.jpgTour de France contenders Alexandre Vinokourov and Andr?as Kl?den needed hospital treatment to stay in the race after crashing in Thursday's frenzied fifth stage.


Kl?den had a hairline fracture to his tailbone, and Astana teammate Vinokourov left hospital at around midnight local time with stitches in his right knee andelbow.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme predicted stage five from Chablis to Autun would be spectacular and shape the race.

He was right.

"Some of the favorites suffered," Prudhomme said. "It was like a trap stage. A sumptuous finale full of emotion and suspense."

Oh, and there was an exciting sprint finish won by Italy's Filippo Pozzato, while Fabian Cancellara of Team CSC retained the yellow jersey.

Although Astana team officials said Vinokourov and Kl?den were expected to line up for Friday's sixth stage, that depended on how they recovered overnight from their injuries.

What is certain is that they will be hampered if they make it to the Alps this weekend.

Climbing the Alps is hard enough without having chronic back pains or pedaling with only one fully functional leg.

"It would be a pity to lose the Tour like that, but life goes on," Astana manager Marc Biver said.

DECEPTIVE STAGE FIVE

The toughness of stage five was its deceptiveness: Not so much because of the intensity of the eight hills that wound through Burgundy's wine region - none of them was tougher than category two - but because they just kept on coming.

"Today you had to be really vigilant with dangerous descents taken at full speed and throttling climbs," veteran French rider Christophe Moreau said.

Having spent days of coasting in the pack during traditional early sprint stages, riders were caught off guard.

Vinokourov, third in 2003, and Kl?den, the 2004 runner-up and third last year, fell within about an hour and 50 kilometres of each other. His chain came off, he told his team.

Kl?den ended up in a ditch, while Vinokourov landed on hot tarmac that tore skin off his knees and right buttock.

Both rode on, Kl?den more successfully because the German didn't lose any time.

But Vinokourov needed his teammates to frantically work for him as other teams sought to profit from his spill along the 182-kilometre trek.

The Kazakh finished one minute, 20 seconds behind the winner and fell from 12th place to 81st, trailing leader Cancellara by 2:10 - although it's the gaps with the other main contenders that are significant.

Vinokourov is more than a minute behind Vladimir Karpets, Cadel Evans, and Oscar Pereiro.

This is not considered a big deficit so early on - unless you're chasing fit rivals with a busted knee.

There were five other crashes including Benjamin Noval of the Discovery Channel team, who slammed into the windscreen of a Bouygues Telecom car and lacerated his right arm while protecting his face.

Prudhomme wants "to see this type of stage continue in the Tours to come" because his aim is to "break the litany of sprints during the first week" and give spectators an earlier dose of panache.

Moreau was next to Vinokourov when he crashed inside the last 25 kilometres

"You can't win the Tour in the first week, but you can lose it," Moreau told French television.

Astana manager Biver must be thinking he's cursed by now.

Before the Tour, Astana suspended Matthias Kessler for elevated testosterone levels and Eddy Mazzoleni because he was among a group of four riders questioned by Italian prosecutors in the 'Oil For Drugs' case.

Pre-Tour press conferences consisted of endless questions about Vinokourov's relationship with Italian doctor Michele Ferrari - cleared by an Italian appeals court last year of distributing health-threatening doping products to athletes.

"Friday the 13th is tomorrow," Biver said. "If these kind of accidents prevent us from contending for overall victory, then we'll put it down to fate. There's not much we can do about that."

The peleton sets off on Friday for a 199.5-kilometre trek from Semur-en-Auxois to Bourg-en-Bresse.

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Vino is a tough boy. He will fight back i'm sure. He looked like Kasakstan No1 Prostetute with those fishnet stalkings he was wearing yesterday though.!!Big%20smile

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I'll be surprised (pleasantly) if he makes it to the start this morning. He did well yesterday. Did you notice him giving the slit throat sign when the camera panned to him.

 

A sign of the end, or a war cry? 
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I would attach NO value to any top rider publically displaying their 'weakness'.  There are so many mind games around and you really don't want your opponents to sniff blood when you are at your weakest.

The only way he would show the cmeras how he feels is if he was really about to give up.  We will see if he makes it to the start line today...
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I just saw the highlights super sport, Vino is one tough customer, I do hope he starts today, only two stages before rest day.

Lets hold thumbs.
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I think he will start, they (Astana) will try and limit his loss now and wait for the rest day to re-think their strategy.

 

Toughness has nothing to do with it, the body will go into a certain amount of shock and prepare to repair itself, this is a physical re-action and Vino will have no control over how his body re-acts, one of the main problems is illness brought on by already low resistance.

 

I am sure he is mentally very focussed and wont just give up, but in the end, one can only go so far. 
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I also hope/think/pray that he'll ride today. And hopefully get some time back. And that he'll get rid of those fugly shades!! Please!!!

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If Vino starts today..... TROUBLE!!!!! You can hide a lot behind bandages!!!!!! bandages telss other people you are hurting..... capice!!!!!!

 

 
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If Vino starts today..... TROUBLE!!!!! You can hide a lot behind bandages!!!!!! bandages telss other people you are hurting..... capice!!!!!!

 

 

 

Not bandages, Fishnet stalkings.!!Tongue
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If Vino starts today..... TROUBLE!!!!! You can hide a lot behind bandages!!!!!! bandages telss other people you are hurting..... capice!!!!!!

 

 

 

Not bandages' date=' Fishnet stalkings.!!Tongue
[/quote']

 

Fishnet stalkings....... is this someting hunters use to stalk fish or is it the latest in aerodynamic attire or are you reffering to this:-

 

kous, (-e), stocking, sock; gaiter (springs); wick (gas-lamp); hose, socks,
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If Vino starts today..... TROUBLE!!!!! You can hide a lot behind bandages!!!!!! bandages telss other people you are hurting..... capice!!!!!!

 

 

 

Not bandages' date=' Fishnet stalkings.!!Tongue
[/quote']

 

Fishnet stalkings....... is this someting hunters use to stalk fish or is it the latest in aerodynamic attire or are you reffering to this:-

 

kous, (-e), stocking, sock; gaiter (springs); wick (gas-lamp); hose, socks,

 

Hmmmm, lots of exclamation marks, full stops, Italian shouting and sarcastic grammar corrections.  Looks like Dr Jekyll (Hendrik Petoors) is letting his Dr Hyde (Big_H) sneak back.  Could the return of Big H be imminent?  I'll sneak in a few spelling errors just to test the waters...

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