June 11, 2005
Tour de Suisse kicks off Saturday
Saturday's a big day, as the king stage of the Dauphiné covers 4 major climbs, and the Tour of Switzerland kicks off.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich is the defending Tour de Suisse champion, but Ullrich told cyclingnews.com it's a training ride this year for him.
"Repeating last year's victory is not on my mind, it's all about a measured build-up to the Tour de France," Ullrich said. "I'm convinced that I am a bit further ahead compared to the same time in previous years. I still have about three pounds to lose but that's intended. Now I must race again in order to achieve a fine cross section of fitness. That means I must convert the strength I have into speed."
There may be a stronger field taking the start of the Tour de Suisse than is contesting the Dauphiné, despite the presence of the top American GC threats at the Dauphiné; the Swiss tour includes Ullrich, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire, last year's Dauphiné champion Iban Mayo, Tom Boonen, and Americans Bobby Julich, Freddie Rodriguez, Saul Raisin, Jason McCartney, Guido Trenti, and Chris Horner.