Shorts: Cunego, Tyler, JanClose
Cunego inspects Giro climbs, weather forces Tirreno stage rejig, Ullrich to face Lance at Dauphiné,PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM While team-mate and rival Gilberto Simoni continues his low key preparation for the Giro d'Italia at Paris-Nice, Damiano Cunego yesterday began a series of "field studies" of the key climbs on the race's 2005 route. Accompanied by Lampre-Caffita directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli, Cunego was due to test ride stage 13's formidable, 10-kilometre, 10 per cent Passo delle Erbe. The 'Little Prince' had planned recces of further Dolomite passes for Friday but many of these remain impassable due to snow. Cunego and Martinelli may also be forced to abandon plans to ride several of the Alpine passes on the Giro route over the weekend, again because of bad weather. - The bad weather Europe is currently experiencing has forced a change in today's third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. A couple of climbs have been cut from the route and 13 extra kilometres have been added to the stage between Tivoli and Torricella. The stage now measures 228km and should suit Oscar Freire even more than it did last year when he won it. - Jan Ullrich is reported to be changing his pre-Tour de France preparation by making a first-ever appearance at the Dauphin Libr instead of defending his Tour of Switzerland title. This would mean him racing against Lance Armstrong, who also has the Dauphin on his programme. The only other time Ullrich missed the Swiss event was in 2000, when he opted to ride the Giro. Ullrich's T-Mobile team-mates Alexandre Vinokourov and Andreas Klden are also to ride the Dauphin. - A decision in Tyler Hamilton's blood doping case was expected to be released this weekend by the US Anti-Doping Agency, but could now be delayed. In an update on his website Hamilton reveals that "although testimony is complete, the hearing is not officially 'closed'. The panel of three arbitrators have decided to keep the proceedings open. We are not entirely sure why, but apparently this can happen. A decision will be due 10 days from the date the case officially closes."