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Alexandre Vinokourov sacked by Astana, according to reports

The 2012 Olympic Champion has been ousted from the team he helped create just days before the Tour de France

Joe Robinson
24 Jun 2021

Founder of the Astana team and 2006 Vuelta a Espana champion Alexandre Vinokourov has been sacked with immediate effect by the team he helped create, just days before the 2021 Tour de France.

According to reports in French newspaper L'Equipe, the firing of Vinokourov was confimed in an email sent to team staff and riders at midnight on Wednesday 23rd June.

It is believed Vinokourov's departure comes as a result of the team's new Canadian co-sponsor for 2021 Premier Tech and a new management structure led by Belgium-based Kazak businesswoman Yana Seel, with conflicts between parties within the team rumbling on for months. 

The article in L'Equipe also claims Vinokourov's departure came due to personal reasons, a claim he denies, while Giuseppe Martinelli has been promoted in to the Kazak's role.

Reports in the Kazak press in May also suggested that Vinokourov had been fired from the team before being reinstated within a day, while the team has also recently relieved team sports directors Alexandre Shefer and Dimitri Sedun of their duties in what appears to be a team staff overhaul.

The departure of Vinokourov from Astana somewhat signals the end of an era for the team. The 2012 road race Olympic Champion helped found the team in 2006, backed by the Kazakhstan government, spending five seasons racing with the squad before moving into his role of team manager in 2013.

In this time, the 47-year-old helped oversee Vincenzo Nibali's two Giro d'Italia victories, Tour de France win and first Il Lombardia success, Fabio Aru's 2015 Vuelta a Espana win and Jakob Fuglsang's 2019 Liege-Bastogne-Liege triumph and 2020 Il Lombardia win.