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Khalilov favourite in Ukraine

By:
Jeff Jones, Bikeradar.com
Published:
June 22, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:17 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for June 22, 2006
Race:
Tour de France

Mikhaylo Khalilov (LPR) will be aiming to defend his Ukrainian national championship, which will be...

Mikhaylo Khalilov (LPR) will be aiming to defend his Ukrainian national championship, which will be held a week before his 31st birthday. He will be up against approximately 30 other elite riders, but doesn't expect an easy race.

"I am the favourite, that is true," said the sprinter from Nikolaev. "But it will not be a walkover. On the one hand, the reduced number of riders restricts the number of favourites, but on the other, it gives the race a very risky unpredictability. It would be necessary to form some alliances, but to trust blindly in the help of some teammate could also be a huge mistake. The route is nice, it's suited to my abilities, but it will be a difficult race to read. Every attack will be treated with the greatest caution, avoiding surprise. Well, I will also be the number one favourite, but there are a lot of unknowns in this race."

Khalilov has recovered from an intestinal virus that almost knocked him out of the Tour de Suisse last week, and appreciated the efforts of his teammates to help him get to the finish.

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