This is the first victory of the 2011 season for Vinokourov. "It's a great victory for me, it's my first victory here at the Tour of the Basque Country and it's also my first win of the season. It was the second victory of the season for the team, we all work a lot, so I'm glad we are rewarded. "
Alexandre Vinokourov is now 10 seconds behind Joaquim Rodriguez in the battle for the overall leader. "Here I am focussed day after day, there is also tomorrow's stage that will be difficult. I don’t aim for a podium, it's very hard and there are strong competitors such as Andreas Kloden".
Vinokourov's form bodes well for the upcoming Flech-Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. "I feel my condition improves day by day. I feel better and better, the legs are there. It gives me confidence before the Classics coming and to arrive in good shape for the Tour this year. "
Results from the third day of the Tour of the Basque Country, raced over 180 kilometres from Villatuerta to Zuia-Murgia.
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ) Astana 4hr 20min 38sec
2. Oscar Freire (ESP) at 08sec
3. Paul Martens (GER) same time
4. Pim Ligthart (NED) s.t.
5. Mikael Cherel (FRA) s.t.
6. Egoitz Garcia (ESP) s.t.
7. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) s.t.
8. Chris Horner (USA) s.t.
9. Damiano Caruso (ITA) s.t.
10. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) s.t.
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP) Katusha 12hr 30min 09sec
2. Andreas Kloeden (GER) same time
3. Samuel Sanchez (ESP) s.t.
4. Chris Horner (USA) at 1sec
5. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) 6
6. Xavier Tondo (ESP) s.t.
7. Damiano Cunego (ITA) s.t.
8. David Lopez (ESP) s.t.
9. Robert Gesink (NED) s.t.
10. Benat Intxausti (ESP) 9
Selected: 13. Andy Schleck (LUX) 18