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Tour de France News for May 13, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Ullrich 'definite' for Tour of Germany

Jan Ullrich will definitely start the Tour of Germany (May 31-June 6), according to a report on www.radsport-news.com. At a press conference in Karlsruhe yesterday, Tour of Germany organiser Roland Hofer confirmed Ullrich's participation in his national tour. "I personally would not be sure that he can win this year," said Hofer. "However I am convinced that if he decides to he can win a stage."

Erik Zabel will also represent T-Mobile in the Tour of Germany, and both of Germany's other top teams, Gerolsteiner and Wiesenhof will line up. "Of the top eight international teams, seven will be here at the start," said Hofer.

T-Mobile is aiming to grab the leader's jersey immediately, according to team spokesman Olaf Ludwig. "The [prologue] time trial in Karlsruhe will be our absolute priority. And then we will defend the yellow jersey for as long as we can," said Ludwig.

Cofidis wins one on appeal

The Cofidis team has been granted access to files from the ongoing investigation into doping within the team by French judge Richard Pallain. Thus far, despite numerous allegations and even information from the investigation being leaked to the French press, Cofidis itself has been denied the ability to learn first-hand what exactly has been transpiring in Pallain's inquiry, which still places Cédric Vasseur under investigation and thus keeps him suspended from competition (per Cofidis rules).

A court of appeals in Versailles ruled that the Cofidis business is in a sense a victim, as the investigation focuses on the acts of individuals rather than the company or team as a whole.

Vasseur, who voiced considerable disappointment at being deprived a start in the recent Four Days of Dunkirk, is expected to meet with Cofidis president François Migraine, and will also come face to face with his principal accuser, ex-Cofidis pro Philippe Gaumont, in Pallain's courtroom on the 18th.

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