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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
Alexandre Vinokourov
Alexandre Vinokourov
DOB: 16/8/1973
Nationality: Kazkakh
Team: Liberty-Seguros
Best Tour: third - 2003
Last year Vinokourov had been talked about as one of the major contenders only to pull out of the race after a crash on the Tour of Switzerland.

It left him with torn ligaments in his right shoulder and meant he could not attempt to improve on his third place from 2003.

And again he was billed as a top contender by Armstrong among others.

Sadly it didn't quite work for the Kazakh rider who finished fifth overall after a topsy-turvy Tour.

He did not completely disappoint, however, by taking two of the most explosive stage wins in the race.

First, he won the climb from Courchevel to Briancon on stage 11 and then outwitted all the top sprinters on the Champs-Elysees with a remarkable breakaway ride.

But too often he failed to keep pace in the mountains or attacked when his legs were arguably not at their best.

That might have something to do with his seemingly strained relationship with his T-Mobile team and his desperate attempts to impress potential future employers.

It seemed to do enough for Liberty-Seguros boss Manolo Saiz who lured him to his team just after the end to the Tour.

An almost obsessive trainer, the father of three has been tipped by Armstrong as a possible future winner and he certainly has the all-round abilities to do so.



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