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  • Petacchi makes it two for two over Boonen. Last season wasn't his best, and Ale-Jet is no spring chicken.  All that plus a team change seems to have re-lit the fire.
  • My Flemish is a bit rusty, but Het Nieuwsbladt has it 3-0 Petacchi, apparently counting back to the Vuelta for the last time Ale-Jet and Tornado Tom went head to head.
  • TuttoBici emphasizes the day's more important news: Franck Vandenbroucke's successful appeal of his $250,000 doping possession fine.
  • Back in the world of actual bike racers, CSC and Phonak announced their rosters for the start line in Sausalito:
Team CSC announced the names of the eight riders who will compete in the inaugural Tour of California. The international squad includes: Lars Bak (Denmark), Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), Bobby Julich (USA), Karsten Kroon (Holland), Stuart O'Grady (Australia), Christian Vande Velde (USA), Jens Voigt (Germany) and David Zabriskie (USA).

Bjarne Riis, owner and manager of Team CSC, also announced the squad's great ambitions for the UCI-rated 2.1 stage race from February 19-26. "I'm sending a very motivated group of riders who can win the Tour of California," Riis said. "And since the race finishes in Southern California, near the headquarters of CSC, our title sponsor, it's a race we'd clearly love to win."

Swiss team Phonak has also communicated its rider line-up for the American stage race. Team managers John lelangue and René Savary will take the following riders to contest in the Tour of California: Martin Elmiger, Robert Hunter, Nicolas Jalabert, Floyd Landis, Patrick McCarty, Alexandre Moos, Miguel A. Perdiguero and Steve Zampieri.

  • A year ago Nico Eeckhoudt was being called a darkhorse for Flanders-Roubaix week.  Either things have changed or he's not feeling well, after finishing dead last, 12 minutes back, in the opening stage of the Algarve Tour.  Bears watching.
  • Rabo bringing the wood for Milan-San Remo: Oscar Freire, Erik Dekker, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Pedro Horrillo, Bram de Groot, Marc Wauters and another rider yet to be determined.