Alexandre Vinokourov has been forced out of his role as workforce principal of Astana-Leading Tech just two days right before the start off of the Tour de France, however the group claimed that he will keep on being a “valued member” of the Kazakhstani squad.
The 47-calendar year-previous, who had been in the function considering the fact that retiring from racing at the finish of 2012 – and who was instrumental in the team’s founding just after the folding of Liberty Seguros in 2006 – has been dismissed with speedy impact, in accordance to French newspaper L’Equipe. Crew riders and team ended up informed by way of email at midnight on Thursday.
When contacted by Cyclingnews, the team verified that Vinokourov experienced been ousted. His firing has reportedly officially presented for ‘personal reasons’, which Vinokourov refutes, according to L’Equipe. He has now started authorized action in purchase to be reinstated in his team principal purpose.
On Thursday afternoon, Astana confirmed Vinokourov’s departure. In a assertion, the workforce mentioned that he “will stay a valued member of Astana-Premier Tech but relinquish his management obligations for the time becoming.”
Group managing director Yana Seel explained that veteran directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli and Steve Bauer, who joined the staff with the introduction of Premier Tech, will take in excess of Vinokourov’s responsibilities.
“We can validate that Alexandre Vinokourov will not be existing at the Tour de France this year as he will phase down as Sporting activities Staff Principal. Alexandre still stays portion of the crew but he will not be in charge of the team’s sporting functions at the minute and will transfer into yet another part. I hope that through this period Giuseppe Martinelli and Steve Bauer will work nicely with each other to lead the crew from a performance standpoint and guide our riders to results, commencing listed here at the Tour de France where Steve will perform alongside Dmitry Fofonov and Stefano Zanini.”
The move will come just after a period of time of internal conflict at the workforce which has found the departures of very long-time directeurs sportif Alexandr Shefer and Dimitri Sedun at the finish of 2020.
Vinokourov’s position at the staff experienced reportedly been minimized in latest times, with new administration – which include individuals from co-sponsor Premier Tech – using about on the non-sporting aspect of the group.
In an job interview with Kazakhstani outlet Kzaif.kz in May possibly, Sedun stated that Vinokourov was fired and reinstated final yr following complaining about his and Shefer’s firings.
“He explained to the real truth that the team was shocked that Shefer and I had been despatched absent,” Sedun stated. “He paid out the value for it but the management quickly arrived to their senses and introduced him back again to the crew.
“Vinokourov is a media individuality. Can you consider what fuss would be produced in the media if it was leaked that Astana’s founder and ideological inspirer was ousted? Seemingly, that is why every thing was swiftly modified.”
Sedun stated that difficulties at the workforce started off just after Seel had been appointed as handling director a few a long time back, with inside conflict only expanding soon after Canadian co-sponsor Leading Tech arrived onboard. The new administration sidelined the previously set up administration staff, which includes Vinokourov, he explained.
“The actuality is that a new crew of shareholders are now enjoying first fiddle in the administration of Astana. They are probably great specialists in their area, but in my impression exceptional organization information is clearly not more than enough for a profitable general performance in biking. I believe that we will under no circumstances see the ‘old’ Astana.
“In short, our details of check out did not coincide with the strategies of the new shareholders. Even previously, Vinokourov, [team performance manager] Dmitri Fofonov, and I had been ‘sidelined’ on the matter of negotiations and contracts.”