The nice red number on the back jersey pocket was great but Alexander Vinokourov was still hungry.
Yesterday the Kazah won the red number prize for the most combative rider for his aggressive ride and third place. Today, he went two place higher, taking the win in the 196k stage from Rodez to Revel.
It’s been three years since Alexander Vinokourov won at stage in the Tour de France. But he’s back, he’s combative and he’s not afraid to roll big dice for a win. He make no apologies for anything: blood doping or going for the jugular. The man knows what it takes to earn a victory.
On the final category Côte de Saint-Ferréol climb, which doesn’t look like much on the stage profile, he shot out of the peloton, caught Alessandro Ballan (BMC) and solo’d to victory. He looked back, he zipped up and you can bet he savored.
A hundred feet past the finish line Vino hit the media scrum, which quickly surrounded him like he’d just won a gold medal or the heavy weight championship of the world or a stage in the Tour de France.
These media mobs are almost as dangerous as road furniture or riding next to an Euskatel-Euskadi rider. You could get killed at any moment. Still, Vinokourov was back in his element and appreciated the crazed attention.
Three years is a long time between meals.