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March 01, 2004

Tour of Murcia preview

Bike.com | Spain To Host Tour Hopefuls

Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich, and Joseba Beloki will all be on the start line together for the first time since last year’s Tour de France at the Tour of Murcia, starting Wednesday. Update 1:01 pm EST: Procycling.com reports Beloki won't race Murcia.

Wednesday’s stage is a 21.3-km time trial (about 13 miles), that should give an indicator of the riders’ early-season fitness.

Ullrich and Beloki, whose comeback was delayed by tendinitis, are riding in their first races this year and will probably be some way short of full fitness.

The German tried to play down the clash.

"It is not significant that Lance and I are going up against each other this week," he said. "Where we finish the race will not have a bearing on the rest of the season.

"I don't intend to put myself in the spotlight by winning the race. I am just concentrating on clocking up the kilometres which I need if I want to win the Tour in July."

The AFP article fingers Alejandro Valverde, coming off a win in the Tour of Valencia, as a likely overall winner.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 1, 2004 in Alejandro Valverde, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong 2004 | Permalink

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