Shorts: Majorca, Pantani, TDF 2007

ajorca Challenge route details announced, monument to Pantani to be erected on Mortirolo, Flanders

ajorca Challenge route details announced, monument to Pantani to be erected on Mortirolo, Flanders

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The route details of the Spanish season-opening Majorca Challenge have been announced. The first two days of the five-day race should suit the sprinters, while the final three all feature stages in the mountains, in what is the most mountainous edition ever of this event.

The race starts, on February 5, with its traditional early evening criterium in Palma, which takes place on a circuit based on the Paseo Mar¡timo. This stage has been lengthened to 100 kilometres.

Day two is focused on the northern resort of Cala Millor and finishes in Cala Bona after 159km of racing. Day three includes the major climbs of the Coll de S¢ller and the Puig Major, then the spectacular ascent of the Mirador des Colomer (Pollenca) during its 150km. Day four is another 150km starting in S¢ller and finishing in Port de S¢ller, and including the climbs of the Coll de S¢ller, Coll de sa Batalla (twice) and the Puig Major.

The final 149km stage runs from the resort of Magaluf to neighbouring Palmanova via the Coll de sa Gramola, the Coll de Claret (twice), the Coll de S¢ller and the Coll d'es Tords. For more details go to www.vueltamallorca.com

- The Association of Italian Professional Cyclists has announced it has chosen a proposal for a monument to Marco Pantani that will be placed on the famous Mortirolo climb. "It wasn't easy to choose, we looked at eight proposals, each of which was very good," said association president Amedeo Colombo. The monument will be placed on one of the steepest bends of what is regarded as one of the toughest climbs in the sport and will depict Pantani in attacking mode, his hands on the drops. Financed by frame-builder Bianchi, the monument will be in place before this year's Giro goes over the climb on May 17.

- Following the announcement of the Tour de France's start in London next year, as many as 14 towns in Flanders have revealed their intention to bid for the race. Flemish government leader Yves Leterme told the Belgian press: "The intention is for the Tour caravan to spend two or three days in Flanders. There will be meetings with Jean-Marie Leblanc to discuss this."

- T-Mobile have named five of the nine riders likely to line up for them in this year's Tour. Alongside team leader Jan Ullrich will be new signings Serhiy Honchar, Michael Rogers and Eddy Mazzoleni, as well as Andreas Kloeden.

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