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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vinokourov back in Astana stable

Alexandre Vinokourov has rejoined his former cycling team Astana for the Tour of Spain, which begins this Saturday.

The Kazakh rider, who won the race in 2006, recently returned from a two-year ban for blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France.

The 35-year-old denies any wrongdoing but both he and Astana were removed from the event two years ago.

An Astana statement said: "Vinokourov has signed a contract with Team Astana until the end of 2010."

Vinokourov spearheads a team which also includes American Chris Horner, Kazakhs Assan Bazayev and Maxim Iglinskiy, Spaniards Jesus Hernandez, Daniel Navarro, Jose Luis Rubiera and Haimar Zubeldia and Swiss Michael Schar.

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has a year left on his Astana contract although he is being linked with a move elsewhere.

Lance Armstrong, meanwhile, has already announced that he will quit Astana to form an American-based team in 2010 in partnership with RadioShack.

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