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Ullrich's Giro(21 posts)

Ullrich's GiroHank
Jun 4, 2001 11:43 AM
I haven't been paying much attention this season - what's up with Ullrich? Is he just taking it easy - doing the Giro as a training race? And any word on how Livingston is doing with Telecom?

Who is looking solid for the Tour this year? besides Lance of course...
re: Ullrich's GiroDave Hickey
Jun 4, 2001 12:23 PM
From what I've read, the bosses at Telekom are making Ullrich ride the Giro to get in shape for the Tour.
Jan who?Largo
Jun 4, 2001 12:26 PM
My man is sucking the hind tit something fierce. Hope he gets his butt in gear for the TDF, or i am out some $.
Jan, lay off the strudel, for god sakes!
He sucked on the mountain stages & TT...DG
Jun 4, 2001 12:43 PM
although he got a third place sprint finish on a flat stage. He also took the last pull at the front for Hondo, reaching incredible speeds, but unfortunately it was a perfect lead-out for Cippolini.

Other than that, nothing very significant about Jan at the Giro. He lost major time in the TT, which surprised me. I am more concerned about Livingston's form--he hasn't shown any and has ridden a piss poor Giro. Even if the Giro is a preparation for the Tour, he should be able to finish with the main peloton instead of struggling with the gruppetto.
He sucked on the mountain stages & TT...jschrotz
Jun 4, 2001 12:57 PM
As a Jan supporter since '96 I'm not too impressed with his form in the Giro either. But we have to remember that he's riding a specific program that really only he and the rest of his team have any intimate knowledge of. He didn't do anything in the races leading up to his '97 win either except for a stage win in the Tour of Switzerland I think. I was hoping he'd show better in the TT, but I think perhaps the bad weather that he rode in caused him to sandbag it. As for Livingston, as a bit of speculation, he may be riding with Jan and providing him some support back there in the gruppetto. Fine tuning their chemistry perhaps since they don't seem to have raced much together yet. The weeks between the Giro and the Tour are going to be really important, and it looks as though they don't want to overcook themselves in the Giro so that they'll be good to go in that final build-up right before the Tour start. Jan tends to ride stronger as the long tours go on, so perhaps we'll see more of him in the last week of the Giro. Let's hope so anyway.
This is my take on it as well, but......Largo
Jun 4, 2001 1:33 PM
I sure hope we are right.
I really thought he would do well on the tt, but maybe that weather spooked him, after all, why chance dumping if you have nothing to gain.
Its got me all worried, since i have yet to see any spark from him.
Time is running out 'till the TDF.
Word is in the TTpeloton
Jun 4, 2001 1:48 PM
that he was suffering from some respiratory ailment. Garzelli dropped out with bronchitis, so it is possible. The cold and warm weather mix of the Giro, especially in the mountains can be hard on the immune system. Or, Jan's form could just be real, real bad and this is the excuse they are giving. We'll see in July. Jan's always dangerous in September and October though!
Bobke summed it up...RhodyRider
Jun 4, 2001 1:31 PM
...on OLN, early on: "Ulrich needs to GET IT TOGETHER and stop binging on BRATWURST" or words to that effect. Another pithy quote, right up there with the "sheep poop in the turns" reference. Very amusing, that Bob Roll.
re: Ullrich's Giro/ Tour of Suisse?TC
Jun 4, 2001 1:44 PM
Maybe he will crank it up and show his intentions in the Tour of Switz. more. I really think that his Giro prep is more suited to getting his body used to the stresses of a 3-week tour. Though he hasn't really stressed his body much.

I couldn't believe the other day in the mountains he finished with the same time as Cipo. Rumor has it that JU was the one calling "PIANO" at the bottom of the Marmalada climb??

I think he's training in the Giro.johnrossi808
Jun 4, 2001 7:06 PM
I really believe he is using the Giro as training for the Tour. He will be better at this years Tour than last because of this. This type of thing happened to LeMond too as he only was training for the Tour. But the press thought something was wrong with him
re: Ullrich's Giromike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 7:48 PM
I've got a gut feeling (no pun intended) that we're going to see shades of the 1997 Ullrich at this year's Tour. Obviously, his Giro performance hasn't been all that impressive this year but, as others have said, he's using it as a training ride. I don't think the boys in power at Telekom are going to let Ullrich go into the Tour in anything less than prime condition. I'm ready for an interesting and very competetive Tour; if I can only get hooked up for OLN by July 7!
The Kaiser Bratwurstlonefrontranger
Jun 4, 2001 10:48 PM
You don't have OLN right now, so you can't possibly know how incredibly out of shape Herr Jan looks at the moment. That Telekom kit (which even looks bad on Livingston, who is eye candy in nearly anything) is about the worst thing he could be wearing, and it's too small to boot. He looks like a stuffed Christmas pig, and this is from a girl who LIKES redheads. The fat roll on his double chin completely covering over his helmet strap is the absolute kicker.

Oh, he is certainly prepping for the Tour, and I'm sure Telekom will work some miracle so that he'll come to form and I'll wind up eating my words in six weeks, but geez Louise, he is absolutely ghastly right now.

The saddest part of the whole Jan saga is that he never chose the sport of cycling. It was chosen for him, before he was old enough to decide what he wanted from life. He is the product of one of those "athlete breeding programs" popular throughout the Eastern bloc from the 60s onward until the wall fell. This is no urban legend - it was actually done and well documented by the same types of games commissions who starved Nadia Comaniechi to skeletal thinness so that she wouldn't go through puberty and lose coordination as her hips and bust developed (but that's another rant entirely).

I think the entire problem with Jan's cycling and fitness issues year after year is he does not truly have the love. And as the man says, you gotta have the love.
Bummermike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 10:56 PM
Jan's lack of early June form and fitness is bad news. You're probably right about the eastern bloc mentality and lack of free will. I wonder what his real choice would have been: I could see him downhill skiing or as midfielder for Bayern Munich. A very tough, strong kid and it is unfortunate if his heart's not in it. If he really had the desire and developed it from the start, he probably would have been the first six-time Tour winner. Seems like a very likeable kid too. It will be a shame if his tremendous natural talent goes to waste.
eastern block mentality? but Zable turned out alright..Made in Taiwan
Jun 4, 2001 11:09 PM
i mean 5 (or is it 6) green jerseys in a row isn't half bad
Truemike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 11:18 PM
The eastern bloc turned out many amazing athletes. Nobody's arguing that point. However, I suppose that many of these athletes were frustrated by the fact that some bureaucrat was determining the sport in which they would be participating. Even if you showed exceptional skill in a particular sport, would you want to be forced to participate in that sport if you'd rather be doing something else? However, for those athletes who were lucky enough to be good in the sport they loved, the old system must have been close to heaven: You're enlisted in the military and paid to do nothing but train and compete. All the while, U.S. and other Olympic athletes were all but holding bake-sales (and some probably were) to make their way to Mexico City, Munich, Sarajevo, Seoul, etc. Oh well, not too many people in the former Soviet-controlled countries are having money and equipment heaped upon them these days.
Jun 5, 2001 3:55 AM
I don't me it looks Jan is pretty ripped right now and ...well, pretty far from 'kaiser bratwurst', like this pic from giiiaaarrooouuu shows...

Looks to me that Lance is a bit 'back'... man, he could not even shake Dekker of at Amstel, when they were in two man escape, 'slowman' did not have legs to handle a sprint, even thou Dekker was pulling...

Flaaaaaame ;)
Jun 5, 2001 6:56 AM
I'm with you. Ullrich doesn't look any more overweight to me than Armstrong did at the Amstel Gold race. I would bet he's just putting in his base miles with some harder efforts on the climbs and at the end of flat stages. The tour is still a ways off and there is plenty of time to get the top end. Plus, we have no idea what kind of effort Ullrich is putting out on the climbs. There's too much danger in doing too much and getting overcooked or injured in a three week tour for Ullrich to go out and really push it. I'd bet he's got a doc monitoring his recovery and laying out his training goals for each day. The tour is starting to look like it might be more than a two horse race afterall. Beloki is starting to show some form, and Casagrande will certainly cause some problems for Armstrong and Ullrich in the mtns if he rides.
Zabel is awesomelonefrontranger
Jun 5, 2001 3:09 PM
... but he also truly loves the sport of cycling and is as rabid about it as any underpaid, overwhelmed first-year Yankee neo-pro in Italy. He was one of the lucky ones Mike is referring to.
I agreemike mcmahon
Jun 6, 2001 11:33 PM
I've been a fan of Zabel for years, but my admiration for him only increased after reading a recent article and interview on him in Cycle Sport. Like Ullrich, he seems like a nice guy. Unlike Ullrich, he seems to have a real passion for the sport. I mean anyone who makes a deliberate effort to maintain a private collection of every bike he has ridden to victory really cares about the sport. I also liked the picture of Zabel with his young son, hair dyed green, at the end of the past few Tours.

On the Ullrich front, it seems that our boy has finally started to rouse from his slumber over the past few days in the Giro. Telekom is obviously not concerned about stage wins from Ullrich in the Giro, so third place finishes are probably accomplishing the goals they have laid out for him. I still think he'll be ready for July.

second thatDuane Gran
Jun 5, 2001 5:41 AM
It is my understanding that Jan thinks of it more as a job than a passion. I recall reading from one of the Postal mechanics (who used to work for Telekom) that Jan doesn't even like riding, but he does it because he is good at it and it makes him wealthy. Mind you, lots of people do something for money they don't fully enjoy, but when the hammer comes down, the rider with passion will come ahead.

Armstrong seems to exhibit passion for the sport. To be honest, I'm a big Ulrich fan, mostly because I have such admiration for his ability, but I'm sometimes let down by his inability to execute. When I read about the "athlete breeding programs" it helps me to understand him a little better. I still cheer him on and wish him the best.

I think he'll come around in time for the tour, but I put bets on Armstrong.
athlete breeding programs...chrisbaby
Jun 5, 2001 8:05 AM
...have been bamed for the Detroit Red Wings' inability to win the Stanley Cup, when they had all those Russians. The cup is meaningless to them so there is no passion for winning it. I'd take a team of Canadians who grew up dreaming about the cup over a team of former Red Army players any day, even though the Red Army players are technically better.