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Tick's Blick 14 April 2004
By Staff
Date: 4/14/2004
Tick's Blick 14 April 2004

By Tick of Cycling4Fans

So Erik Zabel does still know how to win! Ok, Rund um Köln isn't Milan-San Remo, but it is the first German race of the year and therefore important to the German riders. It was clear at the end that it would come down to a sprint between Zabel and Danilo Hondo, and Zabel's determination gave him that extra burst of speed that he has so often missed this season.

Last year's winner Jan Ullrich finished comfortably back in the pack. Eddy Merckx said Jan hasn't worked hard enough and is still too chubby. Now isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? Have you all seen Eddy lately? And haven't we had just about enough of this "Is Jan too fat or not?" discussion? I sure have!

A final observation from RuK: it will be a long time before we forget the horrifying pictures of Paolo Savoldelli flat out on the pavement, dead to the world. I can't be the only one who feared the worst. Today's latest reports indicate that the injuries are not nearly as bad as first assumed, let's hope that holds true. I assume he is in the last year of his contract with T-Mobile and if I were him, I would start looking now for a new employer. His time in Germany has been brought him nothing but injuries, sickness and bad luck. And on a more practical note, he certainly can never expect to ever ride for himself as long as he is on the same team as Jan Ullrich.

We got spoiled this weekend with tv race coverage. Sunday Eurosport brought us five hours of Paris-Roubaix. Monday a local station provided start-to-finish coverage of Rund um Köln. And then? Nothing for the rest of the week! I'm already starting to have withdrawal symptoms!

We just can't get away from the doping stories this year. After stories appeared in French newspapers naming names within the Cofidis team -- the team manager, sporting director, team doctor, even riders such as Lelli and Millar -- the sponsor decided it had had enough and pulled the plug on the team until it can figure out just what the heck is going on. And if that's not enough, yet another French paper is printing documents claiming Baden Cooke has used amphetimines -- better known as speed -- for recreational purposes.....

I guess I'd rather stick with the Ullrich weight discussion after all!

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