The Week That Was...

News & Results

05/23/2006| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin
Tom Boonen. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Tom Boonen. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

The 2006 Tour of Britain route was last week announced with the final 80 km stage being used as a test run over sections of the course?s being outlined for use in the 2007 Tour de France and 2012 Olympics.  

The stage starts in
Greenwich Park before crossing
Tower Bridge into the city of
London
.  The stage will finish with twenty laps in St James?s Park.

"
London
has never seen a cycle race of this scale. This is the third time the Tour of Britain has finished in the capital and this year's race promises to be bigger and better than ever,? said Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for
London
.  ?The final stage of the race will be a great rehearsal for the 2007 Tour de France and the 2012 Olympics cycling race, and will showcase what cycling has to offer our great city.

The six stages of this year?s Tour of Britain race are:

Stage 1 ? August 29: Scotland, Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Stage 2 ? August 30: Northwest, Blackpool to Liverpool
Stage 3 ? August 31: Yorkshire, (TBC)
Stage 4 ? September 1: West Midlands, (TBC)
Stage 5 ? September 2: Southeast, Rochester to Canterbury
Stage 6 ? September 3: London,
Greenwich
to The Mall

Current World Champion, Tom Boonen, is making his return to the peloton in the Tour of Belgium running from May 24 th to 28 th.  Speaking to VRT, the Belgian explained that, ?I'm a bit tired of the long training rides I've done in recent weeks.   I yearn for competition. After the Scheldeprijs, I did nothing for eight or nine days. I had to recover, especially get my head clear again. I was still in reasonably good form, so then you come back to your level quickly. I built up calmly and I'm reasonably good again. Of course I'd like to win the Tour of Belgium again, but I don't know if that will happen immediately."

The five stage race takes in many of the well known roads of
Belgium
including the fabled Mur de Huy climb.

While Boonen hopes to repeat last year?s dominating performance in the race, other riders hoping to be competitive include Peter Van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto), Leif Hoste, Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel) and former winner of the Tour de France green jersey, Baden Cooke (Unibet).


Following his dominant performance in the recent Time Trial stage of the Giro, Jan Ullrich is the man to watch come the Tour de France 2006 according to German, Marcel Wust.  

Speaking to sport1.de, Wust commented that, "If you figure his time advantage over Basso in this time trial to the time trial in the 2006 Tour de France in six weeks, then it could be two or three minutes that he wins over Basso. And this Tour is one for the time trialist."

The former pro went on to wonder aloud about his fellow German?s disruptive Spring campaign.   "Who knows - maybe there weren't any serious knee problems. But Jan

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