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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 09:14 GMT
Ullrich puts back start to season
Jan Ullrich
Ullrich had been due to race next month in Murcia
Jan Ullrich has put back the start of his season by a month after suffering a viral infection.

The German, seen as Lance Armstrong's greatest rival in his bid for a seventh Tour de France win, had been due to ride in next month's Tour of Murcia.

But the 31-year-old will now get his season under way at the Tour of Sarthe on 5 April.

Armstrong's season, in contrast, will get going at the prestigious Paris-Nice on 6 March.

The delay to Ullrich's season will be seen as a blow as he bids to add to his only other Tour de France win in 1997.

  • Meanwhile, 2003 world road race cycling champion Igor Astarloa will be out of action for two months after suffering a double fracture of his right arm and wrist.

    The 28-year-old sustained the injuries during a race in Marseille, France, last Sunday and will now miss the opening classic races of the season, including the Milan-San Remo.

    Ullrich eager to stop Armstrong
    17 Feb 05 |  Cycling

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