T-Mobile targets Asturias and Naranco

While Jan Ullrich maintains a slender lead in the Tour of Switzerland (a race which he says he's not...

While Jan Ullrich maintains a slender lead in the Tour of Switzerland (a race which he says he's not focusing on winning but using as Tour de France preparation) other members of T-Mobile are aiming for victory in Spain over the next few days.

Paco Lara will spearhead the team's seven-man squad at the 49th Vuelta a Asturias (UCI category 2.1, June 17-21). Lara was 11th at the recent Tour of Catalonia and T-Mobile considers him to be a GC contender in the lower-ranked race. "Paco rode a great race [in Catalonia]," said T-Mobile directeur sportif Mario Kummer. "He was always at the front. That shows the good shape he is currently in."

Lara's GC aims will be supported by Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klier, Jan Schaffrath and Sergey Yakovlev while the team will also be going for stage wins with sprinters Eric Baumann and Erik Zabel.

Five of the Asturias team will also ride today's GP Naranco with Baumann and Kessler sitting out the hilly one-day race. Lara was ninth here last year behind winner Iban Mayo who set a record time for the final ascent of the Monte Naranco.

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