In a Russian media interview, Astana boss Alexandre Vinokourov has defended his team and spoken out about its treatment in the run up to the license decision by the International Cycling Union.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

"The goal is always the same, to destroy Astana. They envy us, especially the Italians," said Vinokourov.

"The two best Italian riders defend Kazakh team colours, and that is something their countrymen do not like. For example Nibali raced the Tour of Almaty, but did not go to Lombardia. And they wanted see him in the Giro, but he choose the Tour, because he placed the team's interests first.

"We also have 70 employees of which 20 are Italian. We look for the best talent and they chose Astana. It is clear that many people don't like this.

"But I can't understand this reaction. An Italian wins the biggest race of the year and for that his team gets trashed. Where is the logic?

"In any case, next year we will prove that Astana has and will win honestly without doping. We will make everyone respect our team."