"Confident" Ullrich expects to suffer in Italy

After proving that he can still ride a bike at the Tour de Romandie, T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich will continue his preparation for the Tour de France by lining up for the start of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday. Despite finishing 115th, almost 50 minutes behind winner and former team-mate Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), Ullrich told Reuters he was "satisfied with how I rode considering it was my first race of the season and so now I'm definitely going to ride the Giro d'Italia. Obviously, I wasn't able to compete for victory in Romandie but I felt good and now I'm looking forward to working hard during the Giro."

Ullrich is now aiming to ride himself into shape during the Giro. "I know I'm going to have to suffer," he said, "but the first two weeks of the Giro are not too difficult and I hope to find some form for the final week in the mountains.

"I'm not going to try and win the Giro because my big goal is the Tour de France but now I'm confident I'll be at my best come July."

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