Damn, all set to kick off our Classics coverage, and Jan Ullrich sandbags my plans. I'm not sure what sort of DS he'll make, but it does sound like his move to Volksbank is the cushy job he always wanted... VN has an article and a rant.
Update [2007-2-26 15:12:45 by chris]: Eurosport has a cool Ulle photo essay.
- Pippo Pozzato served notice that he's back where he left off last year, winning his first for new employer Liquigas in the Tour du Haut Var. Proving that cyclists aren't stupid, the nine riders in the finale marked Trofeo Laigueglia winner Mikhail Ignatiev's late-stage attacks this time, and Pippo then got a nice leadout from Aleksandr Kuschynski to pip Simon Gerrans at the post. On to Het Volk for Liquigas' big free agent.
- Tomorrow begins the five day Vuelta a la Communidad Valenciana, which has a flash site chock full of info to the Spanish speaker... click on "graficos" to check out the stages. Or take the path of less resistance and read the VeloNews preview including stages, riders, etc. Sneak preview: Valverde, Vinokourov, Schleck, etc... and Petacchi will continue honing his form for San Remo.
- Still no confirmation on whether George Hincapie is in fact out for six weeks, including all the cobbled races. But we'll take CN and sources at their word. For the Virtual Directeur Sportif comp, you can substitute Hincapie at face value and no cost before March 1. After March 1, you have to use your one injury sub, or hang on to him.
- Cyclists Are Tough, No. 1,348,992: Magnus Backstedt. Two shoulder operations and a cancer scare later, he's about to climb back onto the bike. If these things have to happen, they should happen to guys like Maggie, if only because a lesser person wouldn't survive.
- Stay tuned regarding the Pro Tour Mess. There seems to be a lot of contradiction out there -- teams defying the UCI, riders defying teams, McQuaid shoring up support. I suspect the truth is that nobody has really made up their mind about what to do, yet.