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Much is being made in the European press today about remarks made by Jan Ullrich on a German radio station. During an interview perennial Tour runner-up Ullrich said of Armstrong: "If he thinks that he won't be able to win [the Tour de France], then he will not start," before adding, "I would do the same." In many parts this has been taken to mean that Ullrich thinks Armstrong won't start, but we'd guess that based on that one quote Ullrich wasn't suggesting this at all.
What was clear in the interview was the German's determination to do everything within his power to beat Armstrong in July. "It will be my last opportunity to measure myself against him and, perhaps, to beat him, which naturally motivates me in a big way."
- Quick Step boss Patrick Lefvre has admitted that he recently made an enquiry to the Lampre-Caffita team about the availability of Damiano Cunego. "I would have loved to have seen in my team's colours next season, but apparently the Italian is intending to stay at Lampre," said Lefvre, who clearly adheres to the philosophy of 'if you don't ask, you won't get'.
- The mid-race time trial in this August/September's Vuelta has been moved from its Barcelona location due to concerns about traffic problems. The ninth stage of the race was due to start and finish in Barcelona Football Club's Camp Nou stadium, but will now take place in the Costa Brava resort of Lloret de Mar to the north of the Catalan capital. The Vuelta's organisers were afraid that the time trial could produce traffic chaos in Barcelona on the Sunday when most Spaniards will return from their summer holidays.
- The Landbouwkrediet financial institution has confirmed that it will continue to back its pro cycling team to the end of 2006 in conjunction with Colnago. Team manager Gerard Bulens has told the Belgian media that Ludovic Capelle, Bert de Waele, Maxime Monfort and Nico Sijmens will all be retained by the team, and that he will talking to the team's other riders about extending their current deals.
Shorts: Jan, Cunego, VueltaClose
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