Ullrich retires...

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Chris_E, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Flyer's.Finale!

    Flyer's.Finale! New Member

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    No.

    But it is not enough to be a just a simple drug cheat.

    Commercially employed drug cheats such as Lance Armstrong, Jan Ulrich, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, David Millar, Johan Museeuw, Richard Virenque, Marion Jones, Shawne Merriman are FOREVER denying and lying about their crimes as do their sponsors.

    They are all part of the institutional fraud that is all of commercial sport.
     


  2. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    I will publish an interview with the author of the book soon. I am also considering to translate the book and will have talks (negotiations) about that tomorrow.
     
  3. foxvi

    foxvi New Member

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    Poor poor Ulle - I go away for a break to Dubai and find he has been forced to retire. He looks so fit at his press conference but if this is final I do understand he and his family and friends must be so tired of all this crap coz I am. I still do not understand why the Swiss Fed wont even open a case for him? I am sure his legal team have tried everything but from the outside it looks so unfair. Ulle has had to fight cycling from TMO, to UCI vs race organisators, press and media, a suspect spanish police investigation but has not won yet. The cycling authorities are killing our sport by their continual infighting and dont seem to have helped Ulle at all and now they have lost a true champion to help heal the sport - how short sighted of them. I really hope he finds peace now but by the looks the media certainly in Germany, they will not let go. The treatment he received on the Beckerman show was unforgivable and glad to see he is going to sue.

    Great open letter CH and thanks to you, Jh and others on this forum for all the info and coverage of this sad affair for the last eight months.

    I have had great great times watching Ulle race. A truely unique rider. Three favs that come to mind - 2003 Rund de Koln, where I saw him winning by a street! 2004 Athens RR - again saw him live, first of all leading out Eric Zabel to get third, which he got no credit for, and also being one of the first to congratulate Bettini, and 2003 TdF - waiting for Lance. Ulle, a champion and gentleman.

    My love of cycling has taken a huge battering and I will probably not be going to many live races but as I live in London I will be at the TdF prologue but the next day I will be in Austria to see Team Jan Ullrich at the beginning of the ToA. Hope to see some of you at both locations!

    Allez Ulle!
     
  4. Tim Lamkin

    Tim Lamkin New Member

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    Nice break :D
     
  5. foxvi

    foxvi New Member

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    Dubai is a huge building site at the moment but an average of 28oc was good. Went to a couple of tennis matches at the pro tournament on there at the moment and laid around the pool trying to get as many rays on my very sad white body. We hired bikes one day but gave up after about an hour due to the dust from the building and mad driving, not a cycle lane in sight, but would recommend if you just want some winter sun and a bit of luxury. And being a girl there are some great shopping malls!

    Allez Ulle!
     
  6. Tim Lamkin

    Tim Lamkin New Member

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    I have wanted to go there for a long time; it definitely is a booming vacation spot.
     
  7. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Memories...

    1997. Bjarne Riis set about the job of winning a second successive Tour. He would be over 33 years old but so had Scieur, Lambot, Zoetemelk, Buysse, Bartali and Pelissier been when they won. Of that group only Zoetemelk had won in the last 40 years. But Riis' domination had been complete and it was rational to believe that he could do it again. Although he had abandoned the Tour of Switzerland, he had good results in the spring including a win in the Amstel Gold Race that seemed to confirm his optimism. Moreover, he had a superb team. The Telekom squad was brimming with good, dedicated talent, including the previous Tour's second place, young Jan Ullrich.
    There was a bit of a problem. Ullrich, while riding as a domestique for Riis still ended up a close second to the Dane. As the 1996 Tour was drawing to a close and Riis was faltering with exhaustion, Ullrich was stronger than ever, winning the final time trial. I remember the dueling TV interviews in the summer of 1997 with Riis asserting the Ullrich would ride for him, since Riis was the designated captain of the team. Ullrich seemed to demur on that point a bit. Anyone watching could see that the chains of servitude were not as strongly forged as Riis wanted to think they were. After the 1996 Tour and his terrific second place Ullrich declared that the Tour would be the centerpiece of his career.

    Ullrich had turned pro for Telekom late in the 1994 season. He was a shoo-in to ride for Germany in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games but chose instead to ride the Tour to help Riis. Ullrich had no notable vicitories in the spring of 1997 but came to the Tour looking very good.

    There was no rematch with Miguel Indurain. He retired at the end of the 1996 season, becoming the Olympic Time Trial Champion in August and starting but abandoning the Vuelta a España that September. The mantle of leadership of the Banesto team fell to Abraham Olano who finished a credible ninth in the1996 Tour, 3 minutes, 14 seconds ahead of Indurain.

    Other men who could wear Yellow in Paris included the previous year's third place, Richard Virenque, Alex Zülle, the fading Tony Rominger, Evgeni Berzin and a rising Italian star. Marco Pantani was a cycling type whose equal had not been seen since Charly Gaul. He was what the Italians call a scattista, a man who can explode on a steep climb when the other good climbers are already at their limit. This type of pure climber is the bane of men like Indurain, Ullrich and Hinault who find a rhythm on an ascent and can climb at a very high rate, but don't react well to changes of speed. Pantani in 1994, his second year as a pro, scored a second in the Giro and a third place in the Tour. In 1995 it looked as if his career was over after he suffered a terrible accident that shattered his femur. He doggedly set out to prove how very wrong the doctors were that doubted the small climber would ever walk again. By early 1997 he was fully competitive. He abandoned the Giro but earlier had come in fourth in the Critérium International. Like Gaul, Pantani was a bomb who could go off at any time the road went up.

    The 1997 Tour was counter-clockwise (Pyrenees first) and set up to give the riders a relentless pounding in the mountains. The hard climbing started in stage 9 and continued without stop through the Massif Central and the Alps. After the Alps were concluded in stage 16, the riders got a hard dose of the Vosges in stage 18. This Tour would test recovery as well as climbing. Not since the 1976 Tour stacked up all the climbing in 9 sequential stages had the mountains been all run up against each other. 1976 had yielded Lucien van Impe, the finest climber of his age as the winner. Might the 1997 Tour be kind to Richard Virenque?

    Chris Boardman did the job he was paid to do, winning the Tour's 7.5-kilometer prologue time trial. Win it he did but Jan Ullrich was only 2 seconds slower and Zülle was only 5 seconds off the winner's pace. So strong were they that these men who would contend for Yellow were almost able to beat the prologue specialist at his own game.

    The first 4 stages thorugh Brittany and Normandy were the playground of the pure sprinters with Italian Mario Cipollini winning the first 2, then Ullrichs's teammate Erik Zabel won stage 3 and Nicola Minali bagged stage 4. Since the end of stage 1 Cipollini had been wearing the Yellow Jersey.

    It was rumored that tension between Riis and Ullrich started with the first stage when Riis was caught in a massive crash and delayed. Ullrich didn't wait for the 1996 Tour winner to help him get back up to the field. The fast-moving early stages claimed 2 victims: Zülle suffered several crashes and finally gave up after the fourth stage, and Tony Rominger had to withdraw with a broken collarbone.

    The sixth stage saw the Tour's first real exploit when Cedric Vasseur went on a 147-kilometer break and won the stage by 2½ minutes, 27 years after his father Alain had won a Tour stage. But unlike the father's win, Cedric donned the Yellow Jersey.

    As the Tour headed for the Pyrenees the sprinters continued to own the race with Zabel winning 3 of the stages so far. His job was made easier because the ranks of the speedsters were considerably thinned. Belgian Tom Steels was thrown out of the Tour for throwing a water bottle at Frederic Moncassin. Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (the Tashkent Express or sometimes Tashkent Terror) was tossed for a positive dope test, and Mario Cipollini quit with an injured knee.

    After stage 8 and before the climbing began the General Classification stood thus:

    1. Cedric Vasseur 2. Erik Zabel @ 1 minute 21 seconds 3. Chris Boardman @ 2 minutes 54 seconds 4. Jan Ullrich @ 2 minutes 56 seconds 5. Stuart O'Grady @ 2 minutes 59 seconds Stage 9, held on Bastille Day, July 14, took the race from Pau to Loudenvielle by going over the Soulor, the Tourmalet, the Aspin, up to Val Louron-Azet before descending to Loudenvielle. Virenque was agressive the entire day while Ullrich stayed with Riis who was having a tough start in the mountains. When Virenque attacked on the final climb Ullrich easily went with him, leaving his leader behind. Pantani and Laurent Brochard formed a lead group over the top. Brochard took off on the descent but Ullrich was uninterested in Brochard and kept his eye on Virenque. While Ullrich had no trouble marking Virenque, he initiated no attacks of his own, perhaps because Godefroot had not yet decided to give his young rider complete freedom to seek the big win. Vasseur was able to hang on to the lead for another day. The new General Classification showed that even though the Tour was still young, things had already begun to sort themselves out.

    1. Cédric Vasseur 2. Jan Ullrich @ 13 seconds 3. Abraham Olano @ 1 minute 14 seconds 4. Bjarne Riis @ 1 minute 43 seconds 5. Richard Virenque @ same time Riis continued to tell the press that he was still the team leader. In fact, he was doing very well and had a good postion in the standings but Ullrich was clearly the stronger rider.

    The next day was even harder, 252 kilometers that went over the Portet d'Aspet, the Port, the Port d'Envalira, the Ordino and a final 32-kilometer ascent to Andorra/Arcalis. Now Godefroot moved to backing Ullrich as his man. On the big last climb with 10 kilometers to go, Ullrich accelerated and only Virenque could go with him. Ullrich went again and this time even the finest pure climbers in the world, Pantani and Virenque were helpless before the German's demonstration of power. Ullrich smoothly rolled up the mountain and into the Yellow Jersey.

    The stage's results:

    1. Jan Ullrich 2. Marco Pantani @ 1 minute 8 seconds 3. Richard Virenque @ same time 4. Francesco Casagrande @ 2 minutes 1 second 5. Bjarne Riis @ 3 minutes 23 seconds Which yielded a new General Classification:

    1. Jan Ullrich 2. Richard Virenque @ 2 minutes 58 seconds 3. Abraham Olano @ 4 minutes 46 seconds 4. Bjarne Riis @ 4 minutes 53 seconds 5. Marco Pantani @ 5 minutes 29 seconds 10. Cédric Vasseur @ 7 minutes 31 seconds The post-stage comments indicated a new appreciation of Ullrich's extraordinary physical talents. Bernard Hinault thought he would be able to dominate the Tour for another 7 or 8 years. Virenque hoped Ullrich wouldn't go on a 5-Tour winning streak. Ullrich had clearly concentrated everyone's attention. After a rest day, a hilly 55.5-kilometer individual time trial was scheduled. Virenque had voiced his optimistic hope that he would only lose a couple of minutes in what was presumed to be Ullrich's specialty. His director didn't think a loss of 4 or more minutes would be a surprise. Ullrich gave Virenque the middle ground. Virenque was the penultimate starter with Ullrich his 3-minute man. Just near the end Ullrich caught Virenque and increased his lead to 5 minutes, 42 seconds. Virenque had no intentions of giving up. With the Alps coming he said he would now be on the roads that would play to his advantage.

    Stage 13 presented a real opportunity to take a chunk of time out of Ullrich. It was an easterly run in from St. Etienne over flattish country with a ascent to the top of L'Alpe d'Huez. The steep slopes of the Alpe would give the pure climbers a chance to shake Ullrich and set a new tone for the Alpine stages. Ullrich was dropped but only by Marco Pantani and not until the riders were well into the climb. Making his way through hundreds of thousands of fans who formed a narrow defile, Pantani was able to beat Ullrich to the top by 47 seconds. Jean-Paul Ollivier says that Ullrich intentionally eased to let Pantani have the win, being careful not to let the diminutive climber gain too much time. Virenque's hope to start his challenge to Ullrich on the fabled Alpe turned out to be an empty one. He lost another 40 seconds to the German. Ullrich voiced the thought that Virenque had lost too much time to be consdered a true threat to the Tour leadership. Pantani had moved into third place but so far Ullrich didn't seem to show any signs of weakness.

    Two real climbing stages were left. Stage 14 started at Bourg d'Oisans, near the bottom of L'Alpe d'Huez and went over the Glandon and Madeleine before the first category ascent to Courchevel. The evening after the L'Alpe d'Huez stage Virenque had been told that Ullrich was suffering from food poisoning. Virenque's Festina team decided that the next day (stage 14) would be the perfect time to deploy a set-piece assault on the supposedly ailing German. Once on the Glandon the Festina team, which had some good climbers, went all-out. By the time the front group crested the Glandon there were about 20 riders in the main lead group and Ullrich was isolated without teammates. In addition to being a fine climber, Virenque was a first rate descender. I talked to one of the professional drivers who drive the race officials' cars in important races and asked him who the best descenders were in the late 1990's. Richard Virenque's name was the first one he mentioned. Pantani was also high on his list.

    Virenque decided to descend the Glandon aggresively with Ullrich close on his tail. Ullrich had a super light climbing bike that was a poor-handling, unstable affair that caused him more than once to come close to grief on the treacherous descent. At the bottom of the hill Ullrich slowed for some teammates but Virenque kept on alone. Riis put himself at Ullrich's service and got him back to Virenque in time for the final climb. There, Ullrich stayed with Virenque no matter how hard the Frenchman tried to get away. Virenque got the stage win but now he was down to just one climbing stage to take back 6 minutes, 22 seconds. The day had been a hard one. Frank Vandenbrouck led in 93 riders who finished 36 minutes, 56 seconds after Virenque. This was beyond the Tour time elimination cutoff, and special dispensation was shown by the officials to keep the peloton from being reduced to 62 riders at 1 stroke.

    If there might be a stage where Virenque could recover some time, it was the fifteenth with the Forclaz, Croix Fry, Colombière and the Joux-Plane. It turned out to be a stage without high drama. Although he had been complaining of a sore throat and breathing trouble since the L'Alpe d'Huez stage and had threatened to abandon, Pantani made a brilliant day of it. He broke away on the final climb and also being a gifted descender, rode off for the stage win while Ullrich marked Virenque and finished with his nemesis.

    With the Alpine stages finished, the General Classification stood thus:

    1. Jan Ullrich 2. Richard Virenque @ 6 minutes 2 seconds 3. Marco Pantani @ 10 minutes 13 seconds 4. Bjarne Riis @ 11 minutes 55 seconds 5. Fernando Escartin @ 16 minutes 5 seconds A chink in the German's armor showed in stage 18, the Vosges stage. On the penultimate major climb of the stage Ullrich had to let Virenque go. Showing grit, he was able to regain contact and finished with Virenque in the main group. Now there was only the final time trial the day before the stage into Paris. Ullrich didn't win it, but after defending his lead since the tenth stage he could be allowed a second place to Olano, one of the finest time trialists in the world. Virenque lost almost another 3 minutes to Ullrich over the 63 kilometers. He was tired as well. And also tired, having been unwell in the Alps, and perhaps a bit cranky was Riis. His final time trial was terrible. After damaging his bike in a fall, he suffered a series of mishaps as his mechanics couldn't get his wheel in correctly. Riis must have been furious at how the entire Tour turned out after he had prepared so carefully for what he was sure would be a repeat win. He finally threw his bike to the ground in fury, a move that was caught on world-wide television.

    While Ullrich voiced worry that something could go wrong on the final stage, nothing did and he won what everyone thought would be the first in a series of stunning Tour victories.

    Final 1997 Tour de France General Classification:

    1. Jan Ullrich (Telekom): 100 hours 30 minutes 35 seconds 2. Richard Virenque (Festina) @ 9 minutes 9 seconds 3. Marco Pantani (Mercatone Uno) @ 14 minutes 3 seconds 4. Abraham Olano (Banesto) @ 15 minutes 55 seconds 5. Fernando Escartin (Kelme) @ 20 minutes 32 seconds Climber's competition:

    1. Richard Virenque: 579 points 2. Jan Ullrich: 328 points 3. Francesco Casagrande: 309 points Points compsetition:

    1. Erik Zabel: 350 points 2. Frédéric Moncassin: 223 points 3. Mario Traversoni: 198 points
     
  8. Tim Lamkin

    Tim Lamkin New Member

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    Where is this write up from...good stuff.
     
  9. stevebaby

    stevebaby New Member

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    Well done WBT.
     
  10. alibat

    alibat New Member

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    I have had great great times watching Ulle race. A truely unique rider. Three favs that come to mind - 2003 Rund de Koln, where I saw him winning by a street! 2004 Athens RR - again saw him live, first of all leading out Eric Zabel to get third, which he got no credit for, and also being one of the first to congratulate Bettini, and 2003 TdF - waiting for Lance. Ulle, a champion and gentleman.


    I've too many memories to mention, I'd be here all day both from seeing him live and on TV. As I mentioned elsewhere, the first race I saw live was the final week of the1996 Tour. Ulle got me hooked. It's been very frustrating following him at times but never boring! His retirement is such a huge loss..

    My love of cycling has taken a huge battering and I will probably not be going to many live races but as I live in London I will be at the TdF prologue but the next day I will be in Austria to see Team Jan Ullrich at the beginning of the ToA. Hope to see some of you at both locations!

    Allez Ulle![/QUOTE]Many of us have had that love dented. For the first time since 1996, I will not be going to the Tour this year. This is despite the fact that I could get to see the first couple of stages and the whole of the last week this year, which isn't always so. I would normally have been booked up by now. Even without Jan being there, if he had just retired as planned last year after winning the Tour I would have still gone.

    Last year even though I didn't finish work until the last Friday of the Tour, we had booked late flights and stuff to get to the final TT where we had hoped to see Jan clinch the Tour. We went because we had paid for it but that is the only reason. Just prior to the suspensions, I had been sorting out a trip to the Tour of Germany. In fact, I had actually decided a few weeks earlier to skip the Swiss tour and have a longer stay in Germany instead because I wouldn't have the problem of having to get into work the following Monday. How I regret that decision now....
     
  11. stevebaby

    stevebaby New Member

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    Jan Ullrich will be remembered as a great champion, for a very long time.
    You, on the other hand, will only be remembered only as a rather sour piece of liver that once passed through my digestive system, and your existence will be forgotten immediately I flush your earthly remains to their rightful resting place.
     
  12. foxvi

    foxvi New Member

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    ALIBAT - I luckly saw JU at ToR and TdS last year but cancelled my TdF, ToG and HEW in Hamburg arrangements - just could not go - mad I know but I know but .... still why not come to Tour of Austria in July?

    Allez Ulle!
     
  13. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You seem to have a passion for the taste of Liver or am I mistaken.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that.
     
  14. alibat

    alibat New Member

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    I might look into that at some point.
     
  15. Flyer's.Finale!

    Flyer's.Finale! New Member

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    Jan Ulrich will be quickly forgotten as a East German created sporting drug cheat.

    While Jan was likeable enough when the camera was turned toward him----he was not compelling or clever enough to secure the type of multi-level corporate sponsorships that would make his media invented legacy into an Eddie Merkx or a Nike Lance Pharmstrong (both confirmed drug cheats).

    In show business, you are only as good as your last picture. Sadly, Jan's last big move was to sprint into the shadows running away from doping inquiries, police, tough questions about his blood, his DNA, his steroids, his Clomid, his T-Mobile termination, his inability to find a new team whilst Brillo blood bag Ivan Basso could.

    Ulrich went out like a coward. The polar opposite of doper Lance Armstrong.
     
  16. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You don't have a clue as to what is real and what is pure crap, do you?

    It is one thing to debate doping and another to viciously malign people you don't even know.
    I hereby submit that you are a menace to this forum,not in the spitit of friendly debate or opinion and in opposition to the love of the sport and should be banned.
    An obvious troll and I regret to submit to your sleezy rhetoric.
    I ask the other members here what kind of a person calls another person a coward unless it is directly to them, whereby they can respond?
     
  17. Flyer's.Finale!

    Flyer's.Finale! New Member

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    Jan Ulrich quits BECAUSE of blood doping and you blame me for writing about that FACT! Ulrich fans are worse than Lance Pharmstrong Nike apologists. You are the one calling brave people cowards. I call a spade a spade.

    What a hypocrite you are jhusky. Many other drug cheats will be remembered as heroes, BUT NOT Jan Ulrich who ran like a coward into the shadows.

    Accept that brutal truth, not the silly mythology.

    Marco Panatani was a greater Champion!
    Tom Simpson was a greater Champion!
    Gerrie Knetemann was a greater Champion!
    Lance Pharmstrong was greater Champion!
    Fausto Coppi was a greater Champion!
    Johan Museeuw was a greater Champion!

    Your so-called buddy ran from his doping disclosures and you are squarely lost in denial. As if you actually can know anything about Jan's daily injections because you project your Lance Pharmstrong clean mythology onto him person.

    jhusky---it is you who are the menace of the truth.
     
  18. foxvi

    foxvi New Member

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    I have sat and had to read your posts Flyers Finale sometimes - I usual skip them because they are always the same - slandering, uninformed and basically ridiculous. I agree a ban from this forum would be a relief. I know you want this type of response so you can go on the attack but basically go somewhere else and do it. Whether Jan Ullrich is clean, which yes I beleive he is, or not - the way that he has been treated by the cycling community just makes me sick. He is no coward - he is a true champion of his sport and life and has achieved probably more in his retirement decision than you have in your life but you wont see that. I am going to stick around cycling and try to help cycling survive but Flyers Finale take up another cause and leave us alone.
     
  19. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    AMF!
     
  20. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    Just ignore it....

    Tomorrow I will have negotiations about the booktranslation. During the weekend no races (sorry no new pics..:mad: ) because... I have talks about my own book. I have to take a few decisions. My own book won't be about Jan but Puerto in general and I have two ideas how to do it but ... need two days of rest, cycling, discussions etc. to decide how I will go forward...
     
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