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Vinokourov operation a success after Tour crash

Vinokourov operation a success after Tour crash

Alexandre Vinokourov has had successful surgery on his broken right thighbone after a mass crash that marred Sunday's ninth stage of the Tour de France.
The 37-year-old Kazakh star was one of about 30 riders caught up in a pileup midway through the stage between Issoire and Saint-Flour in the Massif Central. Several had to abandon the race along with Vinokourov.
The Astana team leader flew off his bike and had to be helped up by teammates as he lay under a tree.
Vinokourov was flown by helicopter to La Pitie Salpetriere hospital in Paris, and had surgery on Sunday night.
"The operation went well," Astana said in a statement Monday, adding that Vinokourov's wife is flying from Kazakhstan to visit him on Tuesday. Vinokourov's cycling career could be over after previously saying this would be his last Tour.
Astana rider Dmitry Fofonov of Kazakhstan was also involved in the crash, caused by a rider slipping in front of the peloton.
Fofonov landed a few meters from Vinokourov, and was not hurt.
"We found ourselves faced with a concrete column. We braked to avoid it and were forced to drop into the ravine," Fofonov said. "(Vinokourov) was ahead of me and he was stopped in (his) fall by a tree.
"I got up immediately, I felt I had nothing serious. I told Alexandre, 'Come on, we go!" He answered, 'Wait, not now, I think I have something broken.'"
Vinokourov, who was third at the 2003 Tour, served a two-year doping suspension after twice testing positive for banned blood transfusions during the 2007 race.
The first nine stages of this year's Tour saw many crashes as riders braved heavy rainfall and thin roads.
Bradley Wiggins, Janez Brajkovic and Chris Horner are among the others to have pulled out with injury in recent days.
"It's part of the race, it's part of our sport," Fofonov said. "But we lost our leader, it's not easy to accept."


Updated : 2021-07-27 23:32 GMT+08:00