Marino Lejarreta, the former Vuelta a Espana winner is currently n the Pyrenees checking out next weeks route for the Once team. Manolo Saiz does not want to leave anything to chance and is checking for any last minute new features for Igor González de Galdeano and Joseba Beloki.
67 Television stations are covering the Tour de France this year - including for the first time, coverage into China. No Chinese rider has ever competed in the Tour - although two Japanese riders have; Kisso Kawamuro, the Paris based sprinter rode the 1926 and 1927 races - while more recently Daisuke Imanaka rode the 1996 race for team Polti.
Laurent Jalabert, ex-world-wide number one, has decided to make a decision about his future in cycling after the Tour. The CSC rider had originally intended to ride for one more year, but now he is reconsidering that decision. The “Panda” is apparently very disappointed that he did not win the yellow jersey during the first week and will make an announcement after the race reaches Paris.
Indurain has told Igor González de Galdeano to relax and enjoy being in the maillot jaune, which is something that the quiet Spaniard seems to be doing very well. "The Once are not like Armstrong, who only prepares for the Tour. If we do not win in Paris this year we will simply try again next year and there are many other important races. It will, however, be very good being able to have Armstrong in front during the Time Trial to know his time checks."
Jan Ullrich has posted an apology to his fans on his web site. The Telekom star, currently somewhere in the USA (probably Florida), regrets his "inexcusable error." 2500 messages from fans have been sent to the website - many offering support for a comeback, a few very critical .
Meanwhile Ullrich may have to submit hair samples to the public prosecutor's office so they can determine which drug exactly and, above all, how much the former Tour de France winner took .
Ullrich seems to have no good news - his knee is unexpectedly not healing too well and he may have to undergo further surgery if it does not improve over the next four weeks.
'Chavá Jiménez, the Spanish star, who has been fighting depression all year, is hopefully on the mend. He gave his first interview recently and says he feels he is improving daily. He also took time to wish Igor González de Galdeano congratulations on his yellow jersey - and was grateful to his team i.Banesto ("a serious and responsible team") for the care they had showed him. As always the Daily Peloton wishes Chava a speedy recovery and hopes to see him once again romping up the mountains.
UCI Rankings: Coast finally overhauls Telekom as Germany’s number one team - what a turn around masterminded by Marcel Wust!
1. (1) Mapei-Quick Step (Ita) 6.169,75 pnts
2. (3) Fassa Bortolo (Ita) 4.520
3. (2) Lotto-Adecco-ABX (Bel) 4.392,25
4. (9) Team Coast (All) 4.282
5. (4) Cofidis (Fra) 3.949
6. (5) iBanesto.com (Esp) 3.799,75
7. (8) Telekom (All) 3.597
8. (6) Rabobank (P-B) 3.537
9. (7) Alessio (Ita) 3.365
10. (10) Acqua & Sapone (Ita) 3.156
11. (14) Domo-Farm Frites (Bel) 3.128
Bobby Julich seems in fighting form, judging by his column in Bicycling - "Personally, I know that I’m not here just to throw up the white flag once we hit the mountains. I’m super-motivated to go for a good stage win. To tell you the truth, I’d much rather have a chance at a stage win that to just ride conservatively and finish in the top 10 or 15 places."
Gary Anderson, New Zealand's greatest track cyclist, has quit as the national assistant coach just 12 days before the Commonwealth Games begin in Manchester.
The 34-year-old Anderson, who won an Olympic bronze in the individual pursuit at Barcelona in 1992, returned to his Wanganui home last night but refused to comment. Anderson won eight Commonwealth Games medals, including three golds.
Anderson has been replaced by fellow Olympian Tim Carswell from Christchurch.