Shorts: Jan, Ras, Boardman

T-Mobile pleased with Ullrich's Catalonia form, Recycling's Newton wins sprint to take Ras lead, Boa

T-Mobile pleased with Ullrich's Catalonia form, Recycling's Newton wins sprint to take Ras lead, Boa

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

T-Mobile team boss Walter Godefroot has told procycling that the team were very happy with Jan Ullrich's performance at the Tour of Catalonia. Although Ullrich finished well back in two key stages in Andorra, including a time trial to the Arcalis ski resort, Godefroot said his team leader did not ride at his limit at any point during the race.

Asked why this was, Godefroot replied: "There was no point in Jan going at 100 per cent at this point in the season. If he had given his all he could have gone another minute or so quicker in the time trial, but there was no point in him doing work at that intensity at this point in the season." Godefroot also confirmed that Ullrich's next appearance will be at the GP Gippingen in Switzerland on June 5.

- Recycling.co.uk's Chris Newton won the second stage of the FBD Insurance RAS in Ireland yesterday in front of former top continental pro rider Malcolm Elliott (Trinity Capital), and now leads the race overall. Winner of the Ras in 2003, the double track world champion was part of an initial nine-man group that formed after the decent of the second category Bellavalley Gap climb after 73km. This group was eventually whittled down to just four riders with 27km remaining, with Elliott the only man close to Newton in the overall classification.

As the escapes neared the finish in Tubbercurry with 8km remaining, Newton and Elliott showed their superiority and left their two breakaway companions to sprint it out for the win together. Elliott led out the sprint with Newton coming round in the last 50 metres to take a well-deserved win to lead the race by eight seconds, with the third-placed rider at 2-16.

- Former Olympic and world track champion Chris Boardman is backing two multi-day cycle challenges that are being held to raise money for cancer research. Cancer Research UK is offering a unique opportunity of a cycle challenge around Cuba or India. The expeditions offer superb mountain biking terrain, whilst helping to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to incorporate adventure and the adrenaline of cycling whist raising money to support Cancer Research UK and their valuable work. I would urge anyone looking for a challenge to take part and join up today," said Boardman.

Cycle Cuba (19th-28th February 2006) offers the chance to experience the Caribbean's largest and least commercialised island. The days will be spent cycling up to six to eight hours along the Caribbean coastline and over mountainous peaks. While pounding down the roads, you are able to take in the Cuban rural life and the fascinating history of the island. The journey finishes in the beautiful Bay of Cienfuegos followed by celebrations in the vibrant capital of Havana. You will have the opportunity to explore an undiscovered city and if the 'saddle sores' have beaten you then take a ride in a famous Cuban Cadillac.

Cycle India (24th February-5th March 2006) begins at India's most famous architectural wonder, the Taj Mahal. The ride will then trail through the Ranthambore National Park to see tigers in their natural habitat. After watching the sunset you will set up camp and sleep under the stars in the wild safari.

The expedition will include rocky escarpments, valleys and off-road dirt tracks where cycling is the only mode of transport. Here you will have the opportunity to view the traditional rural Indian lifestyles that remain preserved. The route weaves you past dramatic desert landscape, fantastic wildlife and exquisite forts including the ancient abandoned royal site of Fatepur Sikri, before the journey ends at the buzzing Pink City of Jaipur.

Although no experience is necessary, you need to have determination and a sense of adventure. To join one of these fabulous challenges you have to be over the age of 18, pay a registration fee and then pledge to raise a minimum of £3,000. If you want to join Cycle Cuba or Cycle India, or find out about any of the other exciting challenges on offer, simply call 0870 850 8735, or log on to www.cancerresearchuk.org/challenges for your free brochure and details on how to register.

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