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Sunday’s Euro-file: No world’s for Ullrich; Cipo’ re-ups with team

Jan Ullrich won't be racing in October's world championships, his manager Wolfgang Strohband told the German news agency SID on Sunday. Strohband said the 29-year-old would end his season in next week's Hessen Rundfahrt in Germany to close up his 2003 season. Officials from the T-Mobile race are trying to persuade the Bianchi rider to start the Sept. 14 race in San Francisco, but SID reported Ullrich will attend the Formula 1 race in Italy the same day to kick off his vacation. "I didn't race that much this year and I don't want to overdo it," Ullrich told SID. "To prepare for the world's

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By Andrew Hood

Jan Ullrich won’t be racing in October’s world championships, his manager Wolfgang Strohband told the German news agency SID on Sunday.

Strohband said the 29-year-old would end his season in next week’s Hessen Rundfahrt in Germany to close up his 2003 season.

Officials from the T-Mobile race are trying to persuade the Bianchi rider to start the Sept. 14 race in San Francisco, but SID reported Ullrich will attend the Formula 1 race in Italy the same day to kick off his vacation.

“I didn’t race that much this year and I don’t want to overdo it,” Ullrich told SID. “To prepare for the world’s would be very hard. I don’t want to risk too much.”

Strohband said Ullrich will begin in November to prepare for an assault on the 2004 Tour de France. Ullrich came back from injury, a doping suspension, a DUI and a team change to finish second behind Lance Armstrong in the Texan’s closest Tour victory ever.

Ullrich also wants to spend more time with his daughter Sarah-Maria and long-term girlfriend Gaby Weis, whom he intends to marry.

Cipo’ signs through 2005, still mum on Vuelta
World champion Mario Cipollini has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep cycling’s most flamboyant name in the peloton through the 2005 season.

Cipollini, 35, was expected to sign a one-year deal, but La Gazzetta dello Sport reported the Lion King has penned the two-year deal with his Italian team. Time-share baron Ernesto Preatori will underwrite the Domina Vacanze team for two more seasons, giving Cipollini another chance to start the Tour de France.

Cipollini, however, is sticking to his word that he won’t race in September’s Vuelta a España despite pressure from his team and Vuelta organizers.

Cipollini told Italian reporters he doesn’t want to race in the Vuelta as he entered Preatori’s Milan offices to complete the deal late Saturday. There’s still no official word yet from the team, however, and there’s still a chance Cipollini will be forced to race the season’s final grand tour.

Cipollini hasn’t raced since crashing out of the Giro d’Italia in May after setting the all-time stage-win record. Cipollini was stunned and angered when he was left out of July’s Tour de France and threatened to retire.

Now, Cipollini wants to return to the worlds, this time as a gregario for likely team captain Paolo Bettini.

Ziliute wins at Nuremberg, Cooke secures overall title
Lithuanian Diana Ziliute (Acca) won Sunday’s Nuremberg World Cup race in a bunch sprint while England’s Nicole Cooke clinched the overall title after finishing fifth.

Ziliute edged Regina Schleicher (German National Team) and Arenda Grimberg (Farm Frites) to claim the 117km race.

Cooke’s fifth place gives her a total of 309 points and secures the 20-year-old an impressive World Cup title with just one round remaining in next weekend’s Rotterdam race. Rivals Mirjam Melchers (183 points) and Schleicher (181) are too far behind.

Tour of Nuremburg, World Cup No. 8, 117km
1. Diana Ziliute (Ltu), Acca Due, 2:53:49 seconds (40.39 kph)
2. Regina Schleicher (G), German National Team
3. Arenda Grimberg (Ned), Farm Frites
4. Anita Valen (Nor), Bik-Powerplate
5. Nicole Cooke (GB), Ausra Gruodis-Safi — all same time

North American riders
20. Deirdre Demet-Barry (USA), Team SATS
38. Meredith Miller (USA), Team SATS
61. Susan Smith (Can), Team Canada
65. Manon Jutras (Can), Team Canada
68 Susan Palmer-Komar (Can), Team Canada — all same time

Overall standings after eight of nine rounds
1. Nicole Cooke, 09 points
2. Mirjam Melchors (Ned), 183
3. Regina Schleicher (G), 181
4. Sara Carrigan (Aus), 173
5. Judith Arndt (G), 157

Rich, Peschel power to GP Merckx victory
A fire in a nearby building couldn’t derail German motors Michael Rich and Ewe Peschel, who chugged to victory in Sunday’s two-man time trial at the GP Eddy Merckx.

A fire broke alongside the course with about half of the 22 teams already on course. The only access for local firefighting crews was on the race course, and organizations were forced to call back the teams and shorten the course from 45 to 26 kilometers.

The favorites weren’t among the early starters, and the fire had little impact on the overall finale other than shortening the distance and adding some extra excitement to the day’s affairs.

Defending champion Laszlo Bodrogi teamed up with Aussie phenom Michael Rogers, but the Quick Step duo fell seven seconds short against the German juggernaut. Lotto-Domo’s Peter Van Petegem and Leif Hoste were the day’s surprise, edging Credit Agricole’s Jens Voigt and Christophe Moreau to take third at 14 seconds slower.

Michael Blaudzun was a late addition to CSC teammate Andrea Peron after Tyler Hamilton’s season was terminated when MRI scans Friday confirmed the American fractured his right femur in a spill Aug. 20 in the Tour of Holland. Blaudzun and Peron could only manage 19th.

American Bobby Julich, matched up with Telekom teammate Alexandre Vinokourov, finished 12th at 49 seconds slower.

Pre-race favorites Victor Hugo Peña and Viatcheslav Ekimov (USPS) didn’t live up to expectations and finished seventh at 30 seconds slower. Ekimov and Peña finished one-two, respectively, in the Tour of Holland’s time trial stage, and the veteran Russian hung on for overall victory.

24th GP Eddy Merckx (UCI 1.2), 26km
1. Michael Rich and Uwe Peschel (both G), Gerolsteiner, 30 minutes, 38 seconds
2. Michael Rogers (Aus) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Quick.Step, at 0:07
3. Peter Van Petegem and Leif Hoste (both B), Lotto-Domo, at 0:14
4. Jens Voigt (G) and Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, at 0:22
5. Bradley McGee and Baden Cooke (both Aus), FDJeux.com, at 0:28
6. Bart Voskamp and Jan Van Velzen (both Ned), Bankgiroloterij, at 0:29
7. Victor Hugo Peña (Col) and Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus), USPS, at 0:30
8. Nico Mattan (B) and Philippe Gaumont (F), Cofidis, at 0:31
9. Bert Roesems and Andy De Smet (both B), Palmans-Collstrop, at 0:34
10. Evgeni Petrov and Vladimir Karpets (both Rus), iBanesto.com, s.t.
11. Marc Wauters (B) and Erik Dekker (Ned), Rabobank, 0:37
12. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) and Bobby Julich (USA), Telekom, 0:49
13. Geoffrey Demeyere and Stijn Devolder (both B), Vlaanderen-T Interim, s.t.
14. Axel Merckx and Rik Verbrugghe (both B), Lotto-Domo, at 0:51
15. Eddy Seigneur (F) and Yuriy Krivstov (Ukr), Jean Delatour, at 0:55
16. Dave Bruylandts (B) and Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat), Marlux, at 0:58
17. Serguei Gontchar (Ukr) and Andrea Rossi (I), De Nardi-Colpack, at 1:01
18. Johan Museeuw (B) and Servais Knaven (Ned), Quick.Step, at 1:02
19. Andrea Peron (I) and Michael Blaudzun (Den), CSC, at 1:06
20. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) and Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, s.t.
21. Ludo Dierckxsens and Marc Streel (both B), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 1:33
22. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) and Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, at 2:25

Bénéteau wins Boucles de l’AulneFrench rider Walter Bénéteau (La Boulangére) won Sunday’s 5th Boucles de l’Aulne in France, the 13th round of the French Cup series. Bénéteau edged Sandy Casar (Fdjeux.com) to claim his first victory since 2000.

Series leader Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) didn’t start, but retained the overall lead in the season-long series of one-day domestic French races. Second-place overall Nicolas Vogondy (Fdjeux.com) couldn’t take advantage of Kirsipuu’s absence and only managed to finish 32nd.