Vinokourov announces retirement after crash

Montpellier (France): Kazakh cycling star Alexandre Vinokourov announced his retirement on French television on Sunday, a week after crashing out of the Tour de France with a thigh fracture.

"I will continue to ride my bike, but as an amateur and just to keep fit," said Vinokourov when asked if he would continue to compete once he has recovered from his injury.

"As far as competing goes, I think I will leave it there."

Vinokourov was one of several riders to leave the race after the crash-marred ninth stage to Saint-Flour last Sunday.

He crashed into trees at speed and, unable to walk, had to be helped up to the roadside to await an ambulance.

Vinokourov was the team leader for Kazakhstan outfit Astana, a team that was created by and for him several years ago thanks to the backing of sponsors from the central Asian republic.

He is expected to remain in the sport, possibly as manager or sporting director of Astana.

Bureau Report

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