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Must Reads: Alexander Vinokourov to lead Astana at 2012 Tour de Langkawi; USA Cycling Development Foundation awards scholarships

Alexander Vinokourov will lead the Astana team during the 2012 Tour de Langkawi. And the USA Cycling Development Foundation has recognized four student athletes with the annual John Stenner and Joshua Kuck Memorial Scholarships

New Straits Times: Vinokourov to lead Astana at Langkawi

Arguably Asia’s most famous cyclist, Alexandre Vinokourov, who is in his last season, will return to the race where it all started for him 15 years ago — Le Tour de Langkawi.

The Kazakh will lead Astana in the Malaysian UCI 2.HC event February 24-March 4.

“I’ve always wanted to do this race again but it was never on my team’s calendar or appropriate for my race schedule,” said Vinokourov who took part in the Le Tour de Langkawi in 1997.

“Le Tour de Langkawi has a special place in my heart and I always knew that it is a well organized race.”

Joining Vinokourov will be sprinter Assan Bazayev; Alexandre Dyachenko, who finished ninth at the 2011 world championships time trial and might be a favorite for the 20km inaugural stage against the clock in Putrajaya; Dimitriy Gruzdev, who wore the best Asian blue jersey for several days at the 2009 LTdL; double Tour of Hainan winner Valentin Iglinskiy; and Andrey Zeits, who came second at the 2011 Tour of Turkey.

USA Cycling: USA Cycling Development Foundation awards scholarships

Four student-athletes have been recognized by the USA Cycling Development Foundation with the annual John Stenner and Joshua Kuck Memorial Scholarships.

The winners of the John Stenner Memorial Scholarships are Brent Gillespie (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque) and Jill Behlen (University of Wyoming), and the winners of the Joshua Kuck Memorial Scholarships are Jack Tomassetti (Florida State University) and Andrea Napoli (University of Nevada, Reno).

The John Stenner Memorial Scholarships are based on academic achievements, athletic accomplishments and service to the community with an emphasis on collegiate team involvement and leadership. Stenner scholarships are funded by donations to the USA Cycling Development Foundation in the name of John Stenner, one of the founders of collegiate cycling.

The Joshua Kuck Memorial Scholarships are based on outstanding achievements in the areas of cycling safety, advocacy and education. The program is funded through the USA Cycling Development Foundation by directed donations from the friends and family of Joshua Kuck, a University of South Florida collegiate cyclist who was killed on his bike in 2007.