Ullrich confirms start in Suisse

In other news regarding Switzerland, 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich has decided to defend his title at...

In other news regarding Switzerland, 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich has decided to defend his title at the 69th edition of the Tour de Suisse, opting to race on 'home soil' where he now lives, according to German publication Radsport.

The T-Mobile Team rider won last year's Tour de Suisse in a thrilling finale, claiming a last-minute victory from local hero Fabian Jeker by one second after winning the final time trial in Lugano. By confirming his participation in the event, scheduled for June 11-19 this year, Ullrich throws out any speculation of a pre-Tour de France duel with American Lance Armstrong at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, which overlaps the Tour de Suisse.

"It is one my favourite races," said the 31 year-old. While his participation in Suisse is more than likely, Ullrich has not yet decided to race the German road championship in Mannheim, a title he won four years ago, with the 2005 route considered to be held on a relatively easy parcours.

It is expected that his team-mate and yesterday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège victor Alexandre Vinokourov will lead the team at the Dauphiné Libéré. However, after being ruled out of Liège at last-minute, T-Mobile have not announced the pre-Tour race schedule for 2004 runner-up Andreas Klöden, who is reportedly suffering from poor form.

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