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Thursday’s Eurofile: Ullrich outlines Tour prep’; Colombians suspended

T-Mobile star Jan Ullrich will re-start his preparation for the 2005 Tour de France on April 5 in the Circuit de la Sarthe, his manager Rudy Pevenage confirmed on Thursday. T-Mobile rider Ullrich, 31, suffered a setback in training and will miss the Tours of Murcia and Cologne on March 3 and March 28 respectively. "Jan will start with the Tour of Sarthe on April 5 and then onto Aragon," said Pevenage. "It is the same preparation as two years ago." Ullrich has finished runner-up five times in the Tour, four since his victory in 1997, and is determined to end the dominance of American Lance

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By VeloNews Interactive, With wire services

Ullrich at team camp in January

Ullrich at team camp in January

Photo: AFP

T-Mobile star Jan Ullrich will re-start his preparation for the 2005 Tour de France on April 5 in the Circuit de la Sarthe, his manager Rudy Pevenage confirmed on Thursday. T-Mobile rider Ullrich, 31, suffered a setback in training and will miss the Tours of Murcia and Cologne on March 3 and March 28 respectively.

“Jan will start with the Tour of Sarthe on April 5 and then onto Aragon,” said Pevenage. “It is the same preparation as two years ago.” Ullrich has finished runner-up five times in the Tour, four since his victory in 1997, and is determined to end the dominance of American Lance Armstrong in this year’s Tour (July 2-24).

Armstrong, 33, made history in 2004 by becoming the first rider ever to win six Tours de France.

Ullrich, T-Mobile’s team leader, was last year eclipsed even by his friend and teammate Andreas Klöden who finished runner-up.

Ullrich finished in fourth, an insurmountable nine minutes behind Armstrong. It was his worst-ever finish in seven Tour starts.Jan Ullrich’s Tour de France record
1996
1. Bjarne Riis (Dk) Telekom
2. Jan Ullrich (G) Telekom
3. Richard Virenque (F) Festina1997
1. Jan Ullrich (G), Telekom
2. Richard Virenque (F), Festina
3. Marco Pantani (I), Mercatone Uno1998
1. Marco Pantani (I), Mercatone Uno
2. Jan Ullrich (G), Telekom
3. Bobby Julich (USA), Cofidis1999
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Alec Zülle (Swi), Banesto
3. Fernando Escartin (Sp) Kelme
Ullrich did not compete2000
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Jan Ullrich (G), Telekom
3. Joseba Beloki (Sp), Festina2001
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Jan Ullrich (G), Telekom
3. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE2002
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Joseba Beloki (Sp), ONCE
3. Raimondas Rumsas (Lit), Lampre
 Ullrich did not compete2003
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Jan Ullrich (G) Bianchi
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Telekom2004
1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal
2. Andreas Klöden (G), T-Mobile
3. Ivan Basso (I), CSC
4. Jan Ullrich (G) T-Mobile

Panel hands out suspensions in Colombian doping case
Seven Colombian cyclists received suspensions from one month to two years for doping, including standout Federico Munoz who tested positive at a recent event in Guatemala, a discipline committee said Thursday.

Munoz was banned 18-month suspension after his positive test for EPO during the “Vuelta a Guatemala” race in November, said the discipline committee of the Colombian Cycling Federation.

Munoz placed fourth in the event and was one of nine riders, including the winner, who tested positive in the Guatemalan race.

Another leading Colombian cyclist, Argiro Zapata, was given a preliminary one-month suspension for testing positive for banned substances at the “Vuelta a Costa Rica” race last year. Zapata has a hearing scheduled for March 3 in which a longer suspension may be levied, the committee said.

The other Colombian cyclists receiving two-year suspensions include Albeiro Sanchez, Gustavo Ramirez, Hernan Fabian Ramirez, Oscar Perez and Daniel Diaz. All of the sanctions stem from races held in late 2004.
-The Associated Press