By Andrew Hood
An ambitious Jan Ullrich hinted Thursday he wants to win both the Tour de France and the Tour of Germany in 2006.
Speaking via a video feed during the presentation of the 2006 Deutschland Tour, Ullrich said the nine-day, 1400km course better suits his style than the mountainous 2005 version, which saw Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) take the overall.
“I rate the German tour almost as high as the Tour de France,” Ullrich said via video during the presentation of the 2006 Deutschland Tour. “After finishing second this year, next time I want to win it.”
The 2006 German tour – featuring two summit finishes, two time trials and five flat stages – will bypass the fearsome 2570-meter summit finish to the Rettenbachferner in Austria that proved so decisive in this year’s battle.
“That sounds like a good idea, only one week after the Tour de France and two days after the World Cup,” said Team CSC’s Jens Voigt on T-Mobile’s web page. “The tour is well-established and doesn’t need to prove anything by such extreme features.”
Voigt is now serving as a rider representative in the UCI ProTour council.
Course for the 2006 Tour of Germany (August 1-9)
Stage 1, August 1 – Düsseldorf (10km) – ITT
Stage 2, August 2 – Düsseldorf-Bielefeld (198km)
Stage 3, August 3 – Minden-Gosslar (209km)
Stage 4, August 4 – Witzenhausen-Schweinfurt (202km)
Stage 5, August 5 – Heidenheim-Bad Tölz (192km)
Stage 6, August 6 – Bad Tölz-Seefeld, Austria (189km)
Stage 7, August 7 – Seefeld-St Anton, Austria (180km)
Stage 8, August 8 – Bad Säckingen (40km), ITT
Stage 9, August 9 – Bad Kronzingen-Karlsruhe (182km)
Euskaltel, Edo and Bruylandts on the move
Veteran Spanish sprinter Angel Edo will ride next season with Spanish continental team Andalucía-Paul Versán after rejecting an offer to stay with ProTour team Saunier Duval for another year, reported todociclismo.com.
Belgian Dave Bruylandts, the former MrBookmaker rider who is serving a two-year racing ban for EPO, is set to return to the peloton next year with Unibet.com, according to a report in the Gazet van Antwerpen.
African rider Timothy Jones is set to ride with Italian continental team Amore & Vita for the 2006 season.
Euskaltel-Euskadi will hold its first team meetings next week in northern Spain to get a jump start on the 2006 season. New members of the team will meet with staff members to schedule the upcoming racing calendar. A full team training camp is scheduled for February.