Ullrich and Telekom part ways



Wonder if cadel evens will be the team leader in next years TDF? ;D<br /><br />
<br />Ullrich and Telekom part ways <br />http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/?id=2002/sep02/sep26news<br /><br />Jan Ullrich will not be riding for Team Telekom next year, deciding to turn down their contract offer for what he terms &quot;a new beginning&quot;. In comments made today on his website and through his manager Wolfgang Strohband, Ullrich said that he needs to find a new challenge and a new environment in which to make his comeback to racing. He is currently under suspension for testing positive to amphetamines in June (while at a nightclub), and will be allowed to race again in March, 2003. <br /><br />&quot;After long consideration and intensive conversations in the past week, I decided today not to sign a new contract with Telekom,&quot; said Ullrich. &quot;It wasn't an easy decision to make, because I've always felt part of the team. Only with the support of all my Telekom colleagues and the good management was it possible for me to celebrate my great successes.&quot; <br /><br />&quot;I seek a new challenge, an entire new beginning. I know that I have not yet emptied my capacities. I would like to start with new motivation for the coming season...I am doing everything possible in order to be at the top of the world again in 2003,&quot; he added. <br /><br />Ullrich does not know where he will go. &quot;There are offers from several different teams, but there is nothing concrete yet,&quot; he said. <br /><br />There is speculation that CSC-Tiscali and Team Coast are the front runners for his signature, but both teams will have to find ways to afford him. CSC is unsure of its co-sponsor next year, and put negotiations with Oscar Freire on hold due to his high price and lack of a sure sponsor. Ullrich is not going to come cheap, despite a possible reunification between him and his old team captain Bjarne Riis. <br /><br />Team Telekom boss Walter Godefroot said that he respected Ullrich's decision. &quot;He would like a change of air in order to get a new motivation,&quot; said Godefroot in an interview with Radsport-news.com. &quot;We are parting on good terms. I wish Jan all the best for his future career.&quot; <br /><br />When asked what effect Ullrich's departure would have on Team Telekom, Godefroot replied, &quot;Jan was our top rider and we would have held on to him gladly. But we are Team Telekom and not Team Ullrich. We will also be a very strong team in future. We have Savoldelli, Evans, Vinokourov, Danilo Hondo and Erik Zabel, who is still the number one in the world. And I am certain that we will see a strong Andreas Klöden next year.&quot; <br /><br />Ullrich has ridden for Telekom ever since he turned pro in 1994, winning his first race for them in the Tour of Hawaii that same year. He went on to win the Tour de France in 1997 at the age of 23, signaling what many thought was going to be a Jan Ullrich/Telekom era of Tour domination. That was not to be, after preparation problems and Lance Armstrong hampered his chances in successive years, although he does have the impressive record of five starts, one win, and four second places. <br /><br />This year Ullrich started off on a positive note, keeping his weight down over winter and starting the season in the Tour of Qatar. However after that things went completely wrong, when a knee injury flared up and refused to go away. He was forced to renounce the Tour de France and was subsequently involved in a couple of incidents that turned out to be very costly. <br /><br />The first was when he ran his Porsche into a bike rack while under the influence of alcohol. That led to a heavy fine and the loss of his driving licence for a year. The second was when he took some amphetamine pills at a nightclub in June, while he was staying at a rehabilitation clinic in Bad Wiessee. He was randomly drug tested the day after by the German Federation, who suspended him for 6 months according to their rules, although they recognised that the drugs were not used for doping purposes. <br /><br />Telekom stopped paying him his salary while he was under suspension, although they did offer him a contract for next season. After much deliberation, Ullrich decided not to take the offer, which opens the way for a number of teams to bid for his very high talents. <br />
No wonder with the DS grotfreit dude basically saying Ulrich was spent. What did they expect?. It was Team Ulrich BTW. Just as team US Postal is Team Armstrong thats why he wins. If it was not team ulrich thats why he did not win the TDF more.
[quote author=pothole link=board=15;threadid=2473;start=0#21228 date=1033035239]<br />Maybe the dope account is getting to big ;D<br />[/quote]<br /><br />hrmmm i remember seeing him win the bank race when he was 18 or 19......he looked like he was on dope then, he made Robbie Mc Ewen look like a club rider in the sprints ::)<br /><br />Didnt hear much about him until the TDF in 97....we all know what happened then 8)<br /><br />He was pretty awesome in the 96 TDF......he could have won that without much more effort<br /><br />cheers<br /><br />