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Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
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Tour Down Under- Good Stage for Davis- 01/19/06
Gerolsteiner is moving higher- 01/18/06
MeEwen starts well- 01/17/06
Armstrong beats Simeoni- 01/16/06
Ullrich Still the Leader- 01/14/06
Bouygues Telecom team- A Group Seeking Revenge- 01/12/06
Petacchi will go to the Giro- 01/11/06

Tour Down Under- Good Stage for Davis- 01/19/06

The Australian Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) on Thursday won the second stage of the
Tour Down Under at Hahndorf.  The stage was 146 km.  His compatriot Simon Gerrans,
aided by his teammates of AG2R, kept the lead in the general classification

Davis, who has been present at each of the eight editions of this Australian tour, beat out
another Australian, Paul Clark, in a sprint and won a stage in his home country for the first
time in his career.  “I was hungry for this victory this year”, declared Davis, who dedicated
this win to his wife and their five week old baby.

The escape of the day did not bother Gerrans, 25 years of age.  The AG2R rider, who is
already placed well to take the final victory, needs to keep an eye on the Spaniard Luis
Leon Sanchez, the winner of the event last year, however.  He is 7 seconds behind in the
general classification.

Friday the third stage, a distance of 154 km, will run between Strathalbyn and Yankalilla.

Results of the 2nd stage:
1. Allan Davis (AUS/Liberty Seguros), 146 km in 3 h 27' 21".
2. Paul Crake (AUS) s.t.
3. Eladio Sanchez Prado (SPA) at 38“.
4. Hilton Clarke (AUS) 54“.
5. Rony Martias (FRA) s.t.
6. Mark Renshaw (AUS) 2'.
7. Matthew Goss (AUS) s.t.
8. Fabio Sabatini (ITA) s.t.
9. Mauro Da Dalto (ITA) s.t.
10. Jens Renders (BEL) s.t.

General Classification:
1. Simon Gerrans (AUS/AG2R) 7 h 12' 55".
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (SPA) at 07“.
3. Robbie McEwen (AUS) 18“.
4. William Walker (AUS) 46“.
5. Gene Bates (AUS) 1‘45“.
6. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) 1‘48“.
7. Chris Jongewaard (AUS) 3‘19“.
8. Simon Clarke (AUS) s.t.
9. Sébastien Chavanel (FRA) 3' 41".
10. Giovanni Visconti (ITA) 4'18".

Gerolsteiner is moving higher- 01/18/06

In 2005 the German squad Gerolsteiner put the breaks on the supremacy of the T-Mobile
team in Germany.  And it intends to continue its climb in 2006 in the world peleton to the
point of making people talk of it in the Tour de France.

“When I started in cycling, I wanted to put and end to the equation: T-Mobile equals
German cycling”, declared Hans Michael Holczer, the sporting director of Gerolsteiner.  “I
believe we accomplished that last season”.  In 2005 the German team won, in fact, 23
victories, including the final bouquet of winning the Tour of Germany, thanks to its leader
Levi Leipheimer, who beat out Jan Ullrich and his T-Mobile squad.

The team leader, 6th in the Tour de France 2005, could become the new American
menace of Ullrich in the Grande Boucle (Tour de France) after Lance Armstrong.  But
Leipheimer, though confident, remains cautious.  “The year 2005 toughened me. I think I
know how to win big races, and the Tour 2006 could be my show”, he commented.  “Ullrich
and Basso are the favorites, but behind them there are a group of riders who could make it
to the podium, and I am certainly one of them”.  Starting as a skier, the American came into
cycling while training to overcome a serious accident on the slopes of Montana.

Becoming strong with age
A teammate of Armstrong in 2000 and 2001, he feels he learned a lot by winning the Tour
of Germany last August:  “I had to take care of business in a big stage race, I went to the
front, it was a new experience”, assured Leipheimer.  To support him Gerolsteiner has not
decimated its team (as opposed to its rival, T-Mobile): four departures were replaced by
four new riders.  Leipheimer will be able to count on the Austrian Georg Totschnig.  The
second leader on the German team won the 14th stage of the Tour de France 2005 at Ax-
3 Domaines, which was the first stage victory for Gerolsteiner in the Grande Boucle.

“I want to show that I can be good over three weeks and not just on one stage, affirmed the
Austrian on Tuesday, motivated like a junior after having been elected sportsman of the
year in his country, in front of alpine skiers who are the habitual winners.  The coaches of
the team are expecting a lot from the German Markus Fothen, 24 years of age and 12th in
the Tour of Italy 2005, and he will have “complete liberty to prepare as he wishes for the
Tour de France”, according to Holczer.  “We are the incarnation of the future of German
cycling”, concluded the sporting director of a team which, eight years after its creation, has
become strong with age.

McEwen starts well- 01/17/06

With a time of 1h01’06”, Robin MeEwen took the prologue in the Tour of Australia in a
sprint at Adelaide on Tuesday.  At the end of the 50km of the day’s program, the
Australian from the Davitamon team dominated an Italian duo composed of Daniele Colli
and Simone Cadamuro.  Even though this prologue will not count for the future general
classification, MeEwen has nonetheless given a good indication of his level of
conditioning.  The start of the first of five stages will take place on Wednesday.

Classification of the prologue
1. Robbie McEwen (AUS/Davitamon) in 1 h 01'06"
2. Daniele Colli (ITA) S.T.
3. Simone Cadamuro (ITA) S.T.
4. Dimitri De Fauw (BEL) S.T.
5. Allan Davis (AUS) S.T.

Armstrong beats Simeoni- 01/16/06

The Italian Filippo Simeoni, who initiated a suit of defamation against the American Lance
Armstrong, has had his attempt thrown out of court.  The correctional court of Paris has
cancelled any pursuit of penalties.

Simeoni reproached the American for remarks printed on 17 April 2003 on the site of the
daily Le Monde in a article concerning the sports doctor Michelle Ferrari, who has been
sentenced to a suspended sentence of one year in prison for sports fraud and abusive
exercise of the pharmacy profession.  The seven time winner of the Tour de France
accused Filippo Simeoni of obtaining a reduction in a penalty he would have received for
testifying against the doctor Ferrari.  The court did not examine the possible defamatory
nature of the remarks since the suit was dismissed.

Ullrich Still the Leader- 01/14/06

The German team T-Mobile officially presented its new squad on Saturday in Majorca and
stated its objectives for the 2006 season which included, for the leader Jan Ullrich, who
arrives at the end of his contract in 2006, a victory in the Tour de France.  “This year is
very important for me: I am not getting any younger, and I will not have many more
chances to win the Tour de France”, declared Ullrich, 32 years of age, during a press

Winner of the Tour de France 1997, 3rd in the Tour 2005, he has made the Grande
Boucle (Tour de France) from the 1st to the 23rd of July, his first without his bete noire,
Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the event, his major objective of the season.  “If I
train well and don’t have a drop in my condition during the springtime”, assured a confident
Ullrich, “I will be more efficient in the mountains than last year”, he added.

As for the new sporting director of T-Mobile, former professional Olaf Ludqig, 45 years of
age, he confirmed that the Tour de France “is the objective of the year”.  He also
emphasized the Paris-Roubaix classic, “the only big event that has not been won by the

The T-Mobile team has 29 riders:  ten of these are new arrivals, including Kim Kirchen from
Luxemburg, the German Patrik Sinkewitz and the Australian Michael Rogers, and with
these T-Mobile has made an attempt to add youth to its team.  At the same time, some
“veterans” like Rolf Aldag or Jan Schaffrath ended their careers, the sprinter Erik Zabel,
has joined the new Milram team, and the Kazak Alexandre Vinokourov, who didn’t like
riding in the shadow of Ullrich, signed with the Spanish team Liberty.

Bouygues Telecom team- A Group Seeking Revenge- 01/12/06
Translated from an article by Bertrand PERTUIS

After a marginal season, the team Bouygues Telecom, which will participate in the ProTour
for the second year, is seeking revenge.  The leaders have kept the same group, only
making a few changes.  The Championships of France in the Vendee region and the Tour
de France will be the two main objectives of the season.

The team wants to rebound 
Forget the 2005 season… That word was made clear by the management and the riders of
Bouygues Telecom on Thursday at Boulogne-Billancourt during the official presentation of
the 2006 team.  “It is not necessary to search for excuses”, affirmed Didier Rous, who is
getting ready to dispute his 12th season in the pros.  “The year 2005 was not satisfying.  
We often had a finger pointed at us by people who said the French riders were protected”.  
The results in 2005 were indeed meager.  The team from the Vendee region only won nine
victories, and the men on Jean-Réne Bernaudeau’s team were rarely seen in the big races.

Despite these meager results, the team has kept its backbone.  The managers are
keeping the same framework and are making only a few changes.  The group will go with
experienced rides like Didier Rous and Laurent Brochard, respectively 35 and 37 years of
age.  Behind these two veterans, the management expects a lot out of the trio composed
of Anthony Geslin, who came into his own by winning a bronze medal in the last world
championships, Thomas Voeckler, who held the yellow jersey during the 2004 Tour de
France, and Jérôme Pineau.  “These three riders have reached maturity.  They are
between 26 and 30 years of age, and these are normally the best years for a rider”
underlined Bernaudeau, the general manager.  Only four new riders have been signed to
reinforce the group, the Frenchmen Andy Flickinger, Arnaud Labbe, Yohan Le Boulanger
and the Dutchman Stef Clement.

Petacchi will go to the Giro- 1/11/06

The Italian Alessandro Petacchi has finally decided to participate in the next Tour of Italy,
(6 to 28 May) in which he was an uncertain starter.  “I made the decision yesterday
(Monday), along with Stanga (manager of the team) to race in the Giro.  I will also be at the
start of the Tour de France and perhaps the Vuelta (Tour of Spain)” declared Petacchi,
adding: “This will not be the first time that I will be at the start of the three grand tours”

The number one sprinter in the peleton, who has accumulated nineteen stage wins in the
Giro since 2003 (six in 2003, nine in 2004, four in 2005), was skeptical about his
participation in the 2006 edition when the route was announced last November, judging it
very mountainous.  “My first objectives will be Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, and
Gand-Wevelgem”, added Petacchi (32 years of age) in regard to the spring classics.
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