Things are starting to warm up nicely for the season ahead. What Euro snippets do we have winging their way to you today? Well, an oldie-but-goldie continues to shine in France, words of wisdom from Jan Ullrich, and a return of self-confidence for young Franky VDB …
Brochard still a winner
Almost 7 years on from his world championship win, and 6 years after his entanglement in the Festina scandal, Laurent Brochard is still the man most likely to succeed for France.
Powered by one of the early 21st century’s finest mullet haircuts, Brochard continued his shining form of last season by notching a stage and the overall at the first French stage race of the season, Etoile des Besseges.
Brochard finished at least top 5 in every stage race after the Tour last year, and is now installed as a strong favorite for the Tour of the Mediterranean which starts on Friday. What with that and 2 stage wins for Kirsipuu, the Ag2r bosses can be well pleased with their start to the season.
Ullrich aims for Pullitzer Prize?
Jan Ullrich details his life story so far in his autobiography which will be released in the weeks prior to this year’s Tour de France. “Everything or nothing at all” is the rather snappy title of the book which will retail at around 20 Euros/US $20.
I haven’t seen any sneak previews yet, but it is rumored that there are several chapters entitled “ … And then I finished 2nd again in the Tour de France. Which was nice.”
Jan is currently continuing his season build-up in Tuscany.
VDB Almost Brilliant Again
Franky Boy is so happy with his start to the season – 6th on overall at the Tour of Qatar – that he has started to talk up his chances of bigger things this season.
Flemish TV station VTM interviewed him where he said: “I’m still at only 80 percent of my capacity. If I can be 100 percent, then we’ll see the best Vandenbroucke again …I feel like the leader of this team.”
He needs a couple of wins to trigger those big bonus payments on his Fassa Bortolo contract, and the first big target is likely to be Het Volk on the 28th of this month. Despite his dubious past, Franky still equals entertainment, even when he’s off the bike, so let’s hope for lots more verbal fireworks in the months to come.
New deal for Rebellin
Perennial runner-up Davide Rebellin has signed on the dotted line through to the end of 2005 with his team, Gerolsteiner of Germany. Rebellin sets off in pursuit of the wins which have mostly eluded him in his career to date when he lines up for the Giro della Liguria which kicks off on Friday.