Ullrich Interviews February 2004

Discussion in 'Tell us what you think!' started by limerickman, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    For those of you who cannot obtain copies of ProCycing or Cycle
    Sport magazines, both issues this month feature interviews with Jan Ullrich.

    Basically, both interviews discuss Ullrich's 2003 TDF and his teams
    (Coast, Bianchi and now T-Mobile).
    The main points of each interview centred around Ullrich's happiness at being back at Telekom after all of the upheaval of the past 18 months or so.
    However, Ullrich states that he was very appreciative at having the chance to come back to the sport, via Bianchi, and he says that his TDF performance of 2003 was a bonus in that he wanted
    to simply take part in the TDF.
    He said that he hadn't had serious ambitions of winning the 2003
    TDF given the fact that the Bianchi team was cobbled together at
    relatively short notice.
    Ullrich says that given these circumstances, he was delighted with his performance.
    At best, he had hoped to win a stage in the 2003 TDF and the day that he won the ITT, was the happiest day he's had in cycling since 1997.
    He refers to his old opponent Pantani and says that but for one bad day in Alps in the 1998 TDF, he thinks he could have won the
    TDF that year.
    He acknowledges Pantani as an all time great climber and says that it's damn near impossible to follow him once he gets in to the mountains.

    He refers to Armstrong in his interviews.
    He sasys he respects Armstrong but he feels that they're now probably closer in ability than at any time during the past 5 seasons.
    He believes that he can seriously challenge him in the years TDF.
    He says that the issue of whether he not he slowed at Luz in the
    2003 TDF is not in dispute.
    He said that he did not accelerate - therefore he slowed down.
    He said that if he had accelerated away when Armstrong fell,
    Hamilton wouldn't have been in a position to talk to him (because
    Hamilton was some distance behind them - Armstrong and Ullrich)
    when the crash actually occured).
    He said that he thought that tactically, he rode a good race in the TDF 2003 and that he didn't regret trying to attack Armstrong on the Tourmalet.
    He said that he was concious of how well Vino was going throughout the 2003 TDF and he viewed Vino as a threat to
    Armstrong in the TDF (2003) as well.
    He said that his plans each day focussed on Vino and Armstrong.
    He said that he wasn't too happy with the way the 2 Euskatel boys sat on his wheel and then tried to deprive him of the bonus
    points at the end of the stage at Luz, but he said that what's done is done and that 2004 is all that matters.
    He said having already one the TDF in 1997, he knows what winning is like and he feels that he's got a few more years left in his career.
    He said that he doesn't want to use the last few years of his career to solely focus on the TDF - he said that he wants to use his time and energy to win the TDF and other races, if possible.
    He said that having never finished the TDf lower than second place is a worthy achievement but that he would like to win the TDF once more to prove to himself that 1997 was not a once off.
    He also states that living in Switzerland allows him some privacy because living in Germany, his popularity prevents him from retaining some privacy.
     
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  2. jstraw

    jstraw New Member

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    Yeah, I tend to think that Jan slowed down and that Hamilton was really talking to the group as a whole. I think Armstrong knows this too and while I'm not sure I can unravel the specific effect he has in mind, the only reason I can think of for Lance making any kind of controversy about this is to get inside various riders heads. He was gracious in the post stage interview, acknowlwdging that Jan waited and attributed it to payback for when he waited for him. Granted, he only had verbal reports at that time since he couldn't see for himself, and hadn't seen video yet...but I assume he had reliable reports at that time. The interesting thing is that Hamilton surely knows and he's not saying anything about anything as far as I can tell, which is probably wisest from his position.
     
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