Petacchi out of Rund um Köln

Contrary to our report yesterday that Alessandro Petacchi would line-up in the Rund um Köln in Cologne, Germany, the Milram team have decided to withdraw their star sprinter from Monday's race. "Petacchi complained of a cold and a bad sore throat before Milano-Sanremo," said Milram team manager Gerry Van Gerwen. "So we decided not to let Alessandro start. Christian Kux will take his place on the team in this important start in Cologne."

Erik Zabel will now be the team's lone captain in Cologne, having twice won the race before in 1996 and 2004. The veteran sprinter can count on the local knowledge of four team-mates from the Rhine area, including 2006 winner Christian Knees. Milram's full line-up is: Artur Gajek, Christian Knees, Dominik Roels, Erik Zabel, Marco Velo, Markus Eichler, Ralf Grabsch, and Christian Kux.

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