Feel the burn its Tour time again, and this Jeudi in our French flavoured feast we have: Bloody Tour! Cofidis New Line-Up, Scanlon Scoops Tour Spot, Jaksche Jinxed and is it Ullrich’s Year?
In a surprise announcement this week the UCI revealed the introduction of full blood tests in time for the upcoming Tour de France. This effort will facilitate the detection of a wider range of substances and manipulations as well as increasing the period over which a substance can be detected. Speaking to Britain’s Procycling magazine on Tuesday, UCI doctor Mario Zorzoli said that “We have decided to introduce anti-doping blood tests. Nothing is official yet, but we know that our regulations permit us to perform blood tests and we’re not worried about doing precisely that. It should happen: we have methods available to us to do it. I believe that it will be a first in a sporting event.”
Cofidis New Line-Up
David Millar’s untimely departure knocked Cofidis’ hopes of a prologue victory on the head, but all hope is not lost as Jimmy Casper hopes to make an impression and Aussie star Stuart O’Grady who won two stages of the Dauphine Libйrй is always a contender in bunch sprints as well as showing the courage to get mixed up in breakaways. The rest of the team is composed of Frйdйric Bessy (Fra), Christophe Edaleine (Fra), Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra), Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), David Moncoutiй (Fra), Janek Tombak (Est) and Matthew White (Aus) who will be riding his first Tour following his move from US Postal.
Scanlon Scoops Tour Spot
After a strong season including two wins and 198 UCI points Ag2R Prйvoyance’s Mark Scanlon has had his position in the team confirmed for the Tour. The 23 year old rider becomes only the eighth Irish rider to start the race and the first since Stephen Roche made his last appearance in 1993. Scanlon’s talent was evident from early in his career following his Junior World Road title in 1998 and impressive showings in the French scene riding for the VC la Pomme team which saw him top the rankings for Elite amateur riders in the year before he turned Pro.
Jцrg Jaksche’s Tour hopes were broken along with his elbow following a crash in training. The winner of this year’s Paris-Nice was surprisingly philosophical following the accident. “It can’t be helped,” he said. “My elbow is broken, and I have a strong pain in my back. I crashed in a turn during training and landed precisely the same way as when I crashed the day before Amstel Gold Race. Only this time the fracture is more serious, and I’m unable to ride with it.” The German rider will be replaced by Italian stalwart Andrea Peron. The team’s GC hopes rest firmly on the shoulders of Ivan Basso who is hoping to improve on his performances in recent years following extensive work on his time trial position. Carlos Sastre, Jakob Piil and Bobby Julich contribute to a strong and experienced selection.
In an interview with ‘Yahoo Sport Germany’ Jan The Man made his intentions clear in a series of strong statements. The T-Mobile leader said that “I have been second often enough; this year I have put everything on getting back to the top,”. After a show of recent good form in the shape of his win in the Tour de Suisse, the German powerhouse is putting faith in a stronger team this year to support him. “”If we have the yellow jersey, this team is capable of defending it,” and the battle commences this Saturday. Watch this space!
Deutsch Lederhosen By Susan Westermeyer
Germany crowned its new national road-racing champion last weekend and to no one’s surprise, it was a member of Team T-Mobile. This year the lucky winner of the white jersey with the black, red and yellow stripes was Andreas Klцden. Possibly he was allowed to win in an effort to help him look better. At 183 cm (6′, 1″) he weighs only 63 kg (150 lbs.) and as every woman could tell him, horizontal stripes make you look heavier…..
First he shocks everyone, including himself, by winning the mountain jersey in the Giro d’Italia, his first Grand Tour ever. Gerolsteiner celebrated Fabian Wegmann’s win by extending his contract for two years, and he headed off to a well-deserved vacation. Markus Zberg’s crash in the Tour de Suisse opened a place on the Tour of France team — and now the youngster can look forward to his second Grand Tour.