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Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
Ballenberger  
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Paris-Nice- Landis the winner- 03/12/06
Paris-Nice- Kashechkin alone- 03/11/06
Paris-Nice- Success for Rodriguez- 03/10/06
Paris-Nice- All is well for Boonen- 03/09/06
Paris-Nice- The Stage for Vila; Landis Leads- 03/08/06
Paris-Nice- Boonen does it again- 03/07/06
Paris-Nice- Boonen Unbeatable- 03/06/06
Paris-Nice- Julich at the wire- 03/05/06
Tour of Murcie- Santos Gonzalez OK- 03/05/06
Tour of Murcie- Gutierrez in the lead- 03/03/06
Tour of Murcie- Valverde takes it- 03/03/06
Tour de France- 2 teams invited- 03/02/06

Paris-Nice- Landis the winner- 03/12/06

Floyd Landis of the Phonak team won the Paris-Nice 2006 on Sunday, and he follows
another American, Bobby Julich, as champion.  At the end of the last stage, a loop
around Nice won by the Swiss Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner) in a sprint, the American
kept his 9 second lead over the Spaniard Patxi Vila.  Another Spaniard, Toni Colom, also
stepped on the podium at 1’05” from Landis, who was already the winner of the Tour of
California two weeks ago.

At 30 years of age Landis takes his biggest victory after having been a lieutenant for
Lance Armstrong for a number of years.  He went to the Phonak team last year to take
on more responsibilities and obtain victories.

It was notable that the world champion, Tom Boonen, dropped out of the race after 6 km
in the stage.  He planned this in order to train on the course for the Milan-Sanremo
classic which will be held next Saturday and which is one of his major objectives this
season.

Paris-Nice- Kashechkin alone- 03/11/06

Five Frenchmen finished in the top six during the sixth and next to last stage of Paris-
Nice, but none managed to stop Andrey Kashechkin. The young Kazak from Liberty
Seguros won alone on Saturday in Cannes, with a little bit more than a minute advance
on Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) and Sandy Casar (FDJ).  At the head of the general
classification since Wednesday, the American Floyd Landis (Phonak) only has nine
seconds over the Spaniard Francisco Vila (IBanesto) before a last loop of 135 km
around Nice

A first group of twenty riders escaped during the stage, 60 km after the start in Digne-les-
Bains.  The Russian Evgueni Petrov (Lampre) later took off alone with 70 km to the
finish, before being overtaken and passed by Andrey Kashechkin during the climb of the
col du Tanneron, one of the eight climbs of the day.

Never caught, the Kazak, 25 years of age, collects the biggest victory of his career,
which included a success in the GP of Fourmies in 2004.  “I didn’t have a set plan”,
explained Kashechkin, who came from Liberty Seguros in order to help his compatriot
Alexander Vinokourov in the Tour de France.  “But I felt that the difference would come
out on the Tanneron.  I decided to attack since I felt good.  In any case I had no choice
since I am not a sprinter.”

This victory, going along with a second place finish on Monday in the prologue, gives
confidence to Kashechkin “in obtaining his objectives (which are) the classics in the
Ardennes like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but also in the tour de France.  I will attack it with
the hope of bringing the yellow jersey to Kazakhstan”.   But not on his shoulders.

Paris-Nice- Success for Rodriguez- 03/10/06

The Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne/Baléares) was the winner of the fifth
stage of Paris-Nice on Friday at Digne-les-Bains after a long escape alone.  With two
days until the finish, the American Floyd Landis (Phonak) keeps the leader’s jersey that
he earned on the third stage.

Ridriguez took advantage of the last difficulty of the stage, the col du Corobin with 20km
to the finish, to make his escape.  In second, Joost Potsuma from Holland was 18
seconds behind.  Jérôme Pinea took the sprint in a group of nine riders who finished 33
seconds behind the leader after having pushed the pace since the beginning of the
race.  Back in the second peleton, Landis was not concerned about the men in the front.

The top climber in the last Vuelta, Joaquin Rodriguez already has a victory in Paris-Nice
three years ago in Cannes.  At 26 years of age the Spanish rider has rejoined the team
Caisse d'Epargne/Baléares.

Paris-Nice- All is well for Boonen- 03/09/06

Already the winner of the first and second stages, Tom Boonen (Quick Step) hasn’t
finished shining in this Paris-Nice 2006.  Thursday the world champion, 25 years of age,
had the fastest time in the 4th stage which took place over 193 km between Saint-
Etienne and Rasteau.

But the American Floyd Landis (Phonak) managed to keep the leader’s jersey on his
shoulders.  Boonen showed his power despite a small mechanical problem in the sprint.  
That was not enough to prevent him from beating out his rivals at the finish which was at
the top of a small rise. He bested the Australian Allan Davis, as he did in Saint-Amand
Montrond and Belleville, and the German Stefan Schumacher.

Before the end, Bas Giling from Holland and the Frenchman Eric Leblacher held the
lead in an escape after 111 km of racing, and they held a maximum gap of 5’20”.  But
the riders from Lampre and Quick Step quickly pulled back the two escapees with less
than 10 km to the finish line.  An attack led by Sylvain Chavanel and the Italian Vincenzo
Nibali didn’t amount to much.  Demonstrations of students from a the school STAPS
(Science and Techniques for Physical and Sporting Activities) twice interfered with the
race, first at the 10th kilometer, then at the 69th kilometer, and a restart was necessary
this time.

It is notable that Danilo Napolitano was not given credit for his fourth place finish by the
race judges who imposed a penalty of twenty seconds for having stayed too long in the
shelter of a vehicle.

Paris-Nice- The Stage for Vila; Landis Leads- 03/08/06

The third stage of Paris-Nice, in which the finish was in Saint-Etienne, was won by the
Spaniard Patxi Vila (Lampre), in front of the American Floyd Landis (Phonak).  Landis,
recent winner of the Tour of California, took the lead in the general classification.

This stage victory is the first in the professional career of Vila, even though he is 31
years of age.  He was able to achieve it by making a successful escape, along with
Landis, on the last difficult part of the stage, the Croix de Chaubouret.  Another
Spaniard, Samuel Sanchez, took third place by leading the group of pursuers who were
more than a minute behind the stage winner.

The Belgian Tom Boonen, who was leading the race before the end of this third stage,
cracked on the Croix de Chaubouret and gave up more than six minutes at the finish line.

Paris-Nice- Boonen does it again- 02/07/06

For Tom Boonen, the new star of world cycling, the days go by and resemble each
other.  After his success on Monday in Saint-Amand Montrond, the Belgian earned
himself a second bouquet on Tuesday in Belleville.  And like the day before, the world
champion beat out the Australian Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros) in a sprint on a false
flat.  The Italian Danilo Napolitano (Lampre) took third place.  “We’re not getting any
support”, explained Boonen at the end of the stage. “The others behave like loafers!  
We do 25,000 kilometers in front of the peleton during the year.  After all, our goal here
is not to just control the race”

In the general classification, the rider from Quick Step keeps his leader’s jersey in front
of the American Bobby Julich (CSC) by 17”.  The Kazak Andrey Kashechkin (Liberty
Seguros) is just behind him at 1".  The leading Frenchman, Benoit Vaugrenard (La
Française des Jeux) climbed up to fifth place at 22” behind.  Boonen, 25 years of age,
took his eighth win of the season and his fourth in the Race to the Sun.  Last year he
also won the first two stages.  Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros), one of the favorites,
lost 1’13” on the peleton.  The victim of a flat on the last climb, the Fut d’Avenas, the
Spaniard was not able to get back to the leading group.

Wednesday the third stage between Julienas and Saint-Etienne (168.5 km) should
shake up the leaders in the general classification.  The end of this stage consists of a
climb up the pass of the Croix-de-Chaubouret, a first category climb situated 18 km from
the finish, followed by a rapid descent into Saint-Etienne.  It’s a good bet that Boonen,
who does not envision a victory at the end, will give up his leader’s jersey.  He has
already effectively given up the colors”  “After ten meters on the Croix-de-Chaubouret
pass I …. will fall back!”

Paris-Nice- Boonen Unbeatable- 03/06/06

Tom Boonen was superb in winning the second stage of Paris-Nice between
Villemandeur and Saint-Amand Montrond. The Belgian of the Quickstep team, the big
favorite in the stage, didn’t lack anything and with power passed the Australian Alan
Davis and the Spaniard Francisco Ventoso.  A two time winner last year, Boonen took
his third stage victory in the race to the sun

For a long time the race looked like it would be won by one of two Frenchmen who led
the race for 126 kilometers in an escape group of two.  Stéphane Auger (Cofidis) and
Christophe Laurent (Agritubel) built up a lead of 10 minutes over the peleton.  The
teams of the sprinters, however, took over in the second half of the race.  Led by the
Lampre team for their sprinter Napolitano, and also the men of the Quickstep squad who
were racing to set up Tom Boonen, the peleton caught up to the two escapees with
seven kilometers to the finish.  Although a small compensation, Stephane Auger took the
jersey for the top climber in this Paris-Nice race.

After the catch, a sprint finish was certain, and the world champion Tom Boonen showed
himself to be the strongest once more.  Led out perfectly by his team, the Belgian was in
perfect position at the entrance into Saint Amand.  He had no difficulty in dominating
Alan Davis.  He thus took his sixth victory of the season, and he also grabbed the lead in
the general classification with an eight second advance over Bobby Julich, who won the
prologue on Sunday.  Tuesday, the second stage will take the riders from Cévilly to
Belleville.

Paris-Nice- Julich at the wire- 03/05/06

Over a city course which was very tricky, including curves and numerous re-starts,
Bobby Julich (CSC), the defending champion, showed that he was the fastest in the
prologue of Paris-Nice, which took place on Sunday in the streets of d'Issy-les-
Moulineaux (4.8 km).  The 34 year old American won by a hair, only by 71 centimeters
over the Kazak Andrey Kashechkin (Liberty Seguros), who held onto the best time for
most of the race.  The Australian Bradley McGee (La Française des Jeux) took third
place, 2 seconds behind the leader.

Even before the start of the first stage Julich has shown that he is ready and could be a
serious threat to repeat as winner.  However, the American has not made the race to the
sun his objective for this season.  “I have not made Paris-Nice an objective for this year”,
he declared.  “But, during the warm up I felt good and I thought that I could do
something.  At 34 years of age I can’t run after all those rabbits.  This year I have an
agreement with Bjarne (Riis, the team manager), that the priorities will be to support Ivan
Basso in the Giro and the Tour”.  

The Francaise des Jeux team had a good result.  Besides McGee, Benoit Vaugrenard,
the top Frenchman, came in 8th (7 seconds behind), and another tricolor (Frenchman)
on the team, Sandy Casar, finished 12th.  Among the event favorites, the performance
of Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was notable, as he finished only 3” behind the leader.  For
the Belgian, who doesn’t normally excel in this type of exercise which is both short and
violent, it was a good performance.  Boonen is ideally situated to take the lead on
Monday after the first stage which is traditionally won by the sprinters.  The Spaniard,
Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros), was fourth at 3” behind and is waiting in ambush.

The American Floyd Landis (Phonak), who just won the Tour of California, seemed to be
holding back finishing only eleventh at 10”.  It should be noted that two riders of the
Cofidis team who are looking for the victory, Bradley Wiggins and Rick Verbrugghe are
in good position by finishing 7th and 10th respectively.  Finally, the two French riders on
the Bouygues Telecom team, Jérôme Pineau, 14th and Didier Rous, 18th, both
completed their prologue in the top twenty.

Monday the first stage will be over 193 kilometers and will take the riders from
Villemandeur to Saint-Armand-Montrond.  The course should be advantageous for the
sprinters.

Tour of Murcie- Santos Gonzalez OK- 03/05/06

The Spaniard, Santos Gonzalez (3 Molinos) on Sunday won the Tour of Murcie after the
5th and final stage, raced over 138.7 km around Murcie.  The race was cut back
between km 115 and 135 because of strong winds.  This final stage was won by the
German Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner).  He beat out Ariel Richeze of Argentina, whom
he also beat four days ago during the stage from Las Torres to Cotillas.

In the general classification, Santos Gonzalez held onto his lead of three seconds over
his compatriot Jose Ivan Gutierrez, from whom he took over first place on Saturday.  
Another Spaniard, David Bernabeu, took third place.


Tour of Murcie- Gutierrez in the lead- 03/03/06

The Spaniard Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne/Baléares) won the third stage of the
Tour of Murcie.  Thanks to this victory in the time trial of 21.6 km around Jumilla, he took
over the head of the general classification.

Gutierrez beat the Kazak Alexander Vinokourov by 10 seconds, and the German Michael
Rich by 14 seconds.  In the general classification he leads two compatriots, Santos
Gonzalez by 15 seconds and David Bernabeu by 29 seconds.  Saturday will be the main
stage of the event, one of 148.6 km between Caravaca de la Cruz and Collado Bermejo,
where the climb of the San Juan pass could be decisive.  

Tour of Murcie- Valverde takes it- 03/0/06

Alejandro Valverde (Baléares-Caisse d'Epargne) won the 2nd stage of the Tour de
Murcie which took place between Alcantarilla and Alhama de Murcie.  Winner of the
event in 2004, the Spaniard took his first win of 2006 in a sprint finish of a stage that was
very animated.  On the climb of the Perdiz pass, a group composed of the race favorites
(Vinokourov, Menchov ou Cunego) tried in vain to escape.  On the descent another
group led by Valverde managed to make an escape, and the Spaniard finally won it in a
sprint.

His compatriot Angel Vicioso (Liberty) took over the lead in the general classification
(with the same time!) from the German Heinrich Haussler, who was victorious in the first
stage on Wednesday.

Tour de France- 2 teams invited- 03/02/06

Two teams from the European continent, Agritubel and Comunidad Valenciana, were
invited to the Tour de France 2006 by the organizers.

The French team Agritubel will be lead by Juan-Miguel Mercado (formerly of Quick
Step), winner of a stage in the 2004 Tour at Lons-le-Saunier.  Along with the Spaniard
there will be, among others, Christophe Agnolutto, who also won a stage in the Tour
(2000).

The Spanish team Comunidad Valenciana will start the tour on the 1st of July in
Strasburg with Ruben Plaza, who took 6th place in the Vuelta 2005, in its ranks

22 of the 23 teams are now known, and the last invitation will be sent soon.

The 22 teams:

AG2R Prevoyance, Agritubel, Bouygues Télécom, Caisse d'Epargne - Illes Balears,
Cofidis, Comunidad Valenciana, Crédit Agricole, Team CSC, Davitamon - Lotto,
Discovery Channel Team, Euskatel - Euskadi, FDJeux.com, Gerolsteiner, Lampre,
Liberty Seguros Würth Team, Liquigas
Team Milram, Phonak Hearing Systems, Quick Step, Rabobank, Saunier Duval - Prodir
and T -Mobile Team.