Vinokourov ends pro career

2011-07-17 15:34

Montpellier - Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, forced out of the Tour de France by a crash in the ninth stage, confirmed on Sunday he was ending his professional career.

"I'm still hoping to make it back on a bike, but as an amateur, for my health. As a professional, I'm stopping here, they will find another role for me in the (Astana) team," the 37-year-old rider told France Televisions.

The Kazakh rider, winner of the Spanish Vuelta in 2006 and third in the 2003 Tour de France, broke his thigh and suffered hip injuries after being involved in a massive pile-up on the road to St Flour last Sunday.

"It's getting better and I hope to be able to walk in about a month," he said.

He is expected to become manager of Kazakh team Astana next season.

Asked about his views on the race since his forced withdrawal, Vinokourov said: "I was surprised to see the favourites play a waiting game in the Pyrenees. If things go on like this, (Australian) Cadel Evans will win the Tour."