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By Agence France Presse
Tour de France hopeful Jan Ullrich hopes to begin his season next month after deciding to take a pass on the upcoming one-day spring classics. The T-Mobile team leader’s first competitive race will be the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe, which starts on April 4.
“It is a good Tour to start with as it is not too demanding,” said Ullrich. Winning this year’s Tour de France, running from July 1-23, is the main target for Ullrich who has finished second on six occasions.
Ullrich finished third last year but with seven-time champion Lance Armstrong not taking part this time around the German is one of the favorites for the overall title. Armstrong has publicly picked Ullrich to take the yellow jersey, adding to the German’s 1997 Tour victory.
Urweider tests positive
Swiss rider Sascha Urweider has been temporarily suspended by his Phonak team after failing a drugs test, a spokesman for the Swiss cycling team confirmed Monday.
Phonak manager John Lelangue said that the 25-year-old rider had been suspended while awaiting the results of the B sample.
Urweider tested positive for excessive testosterone on February 14. He finished second in the 2004 Swiss championships.