Alexander Vinokourov to start the new season at the Tour of Langkawi 2012
Alexander Vinokourov will start his 2012 campaign in Malaysia at the Tour of Langkawi, scheduled from February 24th to March 4th 2012.
The cyclist will begin his European season at the Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali planned by the end of March 2012.
The race will mark his return to the Italian soil after the Giro d’ Italia 2010. He rode brilliantly at the event and claimed the 6th overall position.
Vinokourov joined Team Astana in 2007 and is continuing his sixth consecutive season with the side. He helped the team with a number of victories over the past years.
Giuseppe Martinelli, Team Astana’s Manager, is positive that Alexander’s return to the Italian soil will serve as a treat to the cycling fans across the country.
He told the media, “Vinokourov has seldom raced in Italy and he wants to use this appearance at the Coppi–Bartali to pay tribute to the country”.
“I hope his many fans will line the routes of the five stages to cheer him on and reciprocate Alexander's fondness for Italy,” Martinelli concluded.
Besides his only appearance at the Giro, the 38-year-old also rode the Tour de France on eight different occasions, along with five Vuelta a Espana participations under his belt.
He claimed the first overall position at the Vuelta a Espana 2006, which is his only Grand Tour overall victory till now.
Alexander finished first during the third stage of the Tour of Basque Country 2011 and also claimed the third overall win at the Tour de Romandie.
He finished third at the Tour de Romandie along with the third stage victory at the race.
Alexandr Shefer will assist the cyclist as Astana’s Sports Director during the Coppi-Bartali. He is currently busy with the team at the Tour Mediterraneen.
He briefed that the Vinokourov is training hard for the coming season and is looking good to secure some wins early on.
On commenting about the cyclist’s recovery after the Tour de France 2011 crash, Shefer mentioned that Alexander looks in a superb form.
His brilliance will be witnessed "firstly at the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia and then at the Coppi–Bartali".
It is believed that 2012 season will serve as the last year for the cyclist and he is positive to make the most during his final appearance at the top level of cycling.