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How dedicated is Jan(24 posts)

How dedicated is JanMel Erickson
May 6, 2002 7:18 AM
Seems like he's not really serious. This is not good for him, Telekom or the sport. Looks like another laugher for Lance.
It's hardly news,TJeanloz
May 6, 2002 7:23 AM
The fact that Jan Ullrich may not be as disciplined in training as he probably needs to be is not a recent development. Since 1997, he has consistently ruined his chances by making poor off-the-bike decisions- the latest event shouldn't surprise.
It's hardly news,Mel Erickson
May 6, 2002 7:57 AM
I think the difference is that Telekom really tried to put a team together this year that could support him and this is how he thanks them? He's always been a slacker during the off season but been pretty dedicated during the season. Injuries happen but his response has been disappointing. More proof that he's a head case.
He did a dumb thing. but ...Crash
May 6, 2002 8:24 AM
Listen, it's obvious that Jan did a stupid thing, there's no excuse for that. But even before this I've never understood the anti Jan sentiment on this and other boards. The guy is one of the top 5 cyclist in the WORLD. If it wasn't for Lance he would probably have won the Tour an additional 3 or 4 times, and everyone calls this guy a failure that can't commit ??? EVERYONE should be as committed to their professions as he is. All of you guys that think he is a joke, why don't YOU race him and see how you do. There's only one guy on the planet that consistently beats Jan, and that's Lance. You don't hear Lance bagging on Jan, only the no talent experts that seem to know what Jan should be doing with his career. I'll be hoping for Jan to get beyond this and elevate his career for another Tour win. If for no other reason than to shut up the scavengers that dump on him.
Do you think?TJeanloz
May 6, 2002 8:49 AM
My read on the situation (and this is a position I've maintained for a long time) is that Ullrich is the most talented cyclist since Indurain. He is in the top five purely on the basis of physiological talent. He is an absolutely incredible athlete. BUT his lack of commitment has meant that he has not achieved the wins that his talent should afford him.

When he won the tour in '97, he was unstoppable. If he brought that form to races now, Lance would not win. But he hasn't had the discipline to maintain that form.
Exactly, T, and to take it one step further...RhodyRider
May 6, 2002 8:56 AM
...I think this is why he gets bagged on so often. Here's a guy who has a phenomenal amount of God-given ability, and has been afforded EVERY opportunity to develop it and benefit from it, and yet he continues to approach it all very cavalierly. I don't bag the guy myself, but I do resent how he seems to squander such great gifts. If he had half of Lance's determination, he'd be unstoppable, possibly even "Merckxian".
Aren't the mental factors that make champions a talent?dzrider
May 6, 2002 10:46 AM
People clearly have focus, discipline and competitive drive in differing degrees. I often think that much of this is as far beyond our control as our physical gifts. Jan may be doing the best he can with the psyche he has.
May 6, 2002 10:47 AM
That may be the case, and I acknowledged this in the previous post by claiming that he may be the best 'physiological' talent- but not necessarily the most talented total package.
Yes, I was adding to your point, not arguing with it. nmdzrider
May 6, 2002 12:03 PM
Well ...Crash
May 6, 2002 9:40 AM
Whether he is using all of his talents or not is really not my call. I think the only people that know that for sure are Jan, his trainers and the other riders on the Peleton. You don't hear a lot of talk from them about the subject. Maybe the best that Jan can do right now is second to Lance. Some guys don't have the ultimate killer mentality. This doesn't mean that he's not a great rider. I also think it's a shame when people are judged soley on their perceived talent rather than their existing accomplishments.
Everyone brings up the perception that Jan is lazy, but he hurt his knee this year from OVER TRAINING. How come no one mentions that ??? And you said in '97 he was unstoppable, if Lance wasn't in the Tour he still would be. Sometimes I think that people don't give Lance enough credit in this. The guy kicked cancer's ass, he's got to be tough. Oh, and in the post tour wrap-up, Telekom said that Jan was actually in better shape and had faster times this last year than he did in '97. I still think that Jan is one of those guys that no matter what he does people will always say he could have done more. The guys is one of those rare talents that doesn't come along often. Rather than knocking him down for what he isn't, appreciate him for what he is. Lance has often said there is no one on the Tour he respects more than Jan. That's good enough for me ...
Shall we compare?TJeanloz
May 6, 2002 10:24 AM
It is clear that Ullrich was not on the same form in 2001 as he was in 1997. He was slower in the time trials in 2001, both in raw time and as a percentage of the other riders (which would factor in things like wind, conditions, and course differences). In 1997, he won a time trial by 3 MINUTES. That is amazing. The argument you put forth is that "he's as good as he was in '97, Lance was just better" would lead us to believe that he and Lance were miles ahead of everybody else. This wasn't the case. There were people nipping at Ullrich's heels in the TT's.

As for his unstoppability except for Lance is equally foolish, considering that Pantani didn't have much trouble stopping him in 1998; when he started his out-of-form tradition. If Lance wasn't in the Tour, some other rider would step up and beat him.
Then why didn't they ?Crash
May 6, 2002 11:17 AM
Second place three years in a row, why didn't someone else beat him and take second ? Since Lance HAS won the Tour the last three years it's pure speculation on what might have happened. We can agree to disagree, I think the guy HAS a lot of heart and if it wasn't for Lance being in the Tour he certainly would have won at least one more time. Lance has said that there is no one on the Tour he respects more than Jan, and that Jan is the only guy at the Tour that he really fears. I'll take Lance's word for it, he's forgotten more about racing than I'll ever know. I may be in the minority (not that I care), but I hope Jan makes it to the Tour this year. And I hope he kicks ass when he gets there. Just my opinion.
Double Check,TJeanloz
May 6, 2002 11:33 AM
1. Ullrich did not finish 2nd three years in a row. He has a total of four second place finishes: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001. He has never three-peated. He did not ride the tour in 1999.

I don't know how many times I have to say it before it sinks in. I think Jan is the strongest cyclist in the field, and has been since he turned pro. But I don't think he has whatever it takes beyond raw talent to win.
Sinks in, or before everyone on the planet agrees with you ???Crash
May 6, 2002 12:10 PM
Like I said before, we can agree to disagree. At least in the Tour, I think Lance is the stronger rider. But, five podium finishes in five tours is nothing to be ashamed of. I also hope Jan gets healthy, gets in the Tour this year and does well. I'll be cheering for him, regardless if anyone else is. You know, Lance seems to have an even higher opinion of Jan than I do, are you planning on getting in touch with Lance to straighten him out on this matter ???
Doesn't Make SenseGalibier
May 6, 2002 12:47 PM
Repeating it doesn't make it so: what's the basis for your claim that Ullrich is "the strongest rider in the field?" And as for not having "whatever it takes beyond raw talent to win" -- how does that hold up in view of Ullrich's Tour victory, Olympic gold, and four second place finishes? No one else can beat Armstrong, so why is Ullrich a weak-willed slacker because he can't either? It seems to me that all this prattle about Ullrich being the greatest talent is just a pretext to insult him.
Because Ullrich CAN beat Armstrong...TJeanloz
May 6, 2002 12:59 PM
My whole point is that Ullrich, if he set his mind to it, can beat Armstrong. You're right, for examples we need only look to the Olympics, Ullrich's tour win, Ullrich's placement at the 1996 Tour (which Lance didn't finish- granted, he had cancer and all, but he still didn't finish). Ullrich's World Championship TT performances. Ullrich is the absolute strongest rider when he bothers to show up. Armstrong always shows up prepared, and as a result, beats someone with more strength.
Because Ullrich CAN beat Armstrong.....NOT!!esbike
May 6, 2002 9:32 PM
Jan fans always want to go on and on how great a pure cycling specimen Jan is and that Lance only beats him with overachievement. As if Ullrich rolls out of bed the morning of races, eats a few doughnuts, gets on a comfort bike having done no training for months, and then only just loses to Lance in races. GET REAL! This guy is the lead man on one of the very best teams, trains very hard, and has the best of everything to help him compete better. And he does beat everyone except for one guy..Lance. Who won both individual time trials last year at the TdF?: Lance. How many stages did Lance win? Four. How many did Ullrich win: zero. *AND* Ullrich himself thought he was in the best form he had ever been in. Why is he screwing off now and not training hard? I bet it is because he knows he can't be Lance, no matter what he does. Lets give Lance the credit he deserves.
Lance Armstrong, God...TJeanloz
May 7, 2002 4:12 AM
And he is very displeased with this weeks burnt offerings.

It's not like the man can't be beat. Boogard beat him two years in a row at Amstel- which Armstrong was keen to win. Ullrich beat him in the Olympics, which Armstrong was desperate to win. Ullrich beat him in the World time trial, which Armstrong would have like to win.

Lance is a mere mortal, and can, and is often, beaten. Just not in France in July. But many people will tell you that Tour de France wins alone do not make a great cyclist.
Lance Armstrong, God. In the tours he is.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 5:22 AM
Face it, Ullrich will never beat lance in the TdF. He can't generate enough speed in the mountains, i.e. he's not suited for steep inclines. You really think Ullrich is going to find 5 or 6 more minutes in the the Tour? No way.
Ullrich can beat LA on any given day but not in a sustained Tour. Definitely not in July.
He is a mere mortal,TJeanloz
May 7, 2002 5:51 AM
Armstrong can be beaten. And Ullrich has beaten him in a Tour; 1996. Armstrong was there. Ullrich finished 2nd. Armstrong didn't finish at all. Yes, he had cancer, but he was beaten nonetheless.

I don't think Ullrich has the mental toughness to beat Armstrong in the Tour de France- but I do think he has the physical strength to do it. Unfortunately for him, the Tour is much more than a physical contest.
He is a mere mortal, but less mortal than Jan.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 7:19 AM
Beat Lance in 96? Dude LA was cancerous, weighed 20 more pounds and frankly Jan didn't win that tour. That's not much of an argument for Jan's abilities to beat LA. If that's what it takes for Jan, well then Okay, I guess? I like Jan but he will not win and I don't think he can beat Lance unless Lance has some extremely bad luck. Jan is off the winning pace by 5-6 minutes. Where is he going to get that time? and LA can go even faster because his strategy is to rack up as much time on his opponents in the early mtn stages and cover the breaks thereafter. He saves his reserves for a serious challenge. LA cracked on Jou Plane in 2000 but that ain't going to happen again - count on it.

Jan is going to have to wait 2-3 more tours for his chance and even then he's going to be facing a mature Sevilla, possibly a more confident Beloki, Casero?? and who knows who else.
you need to understandcyclopathic
May 6, 2002 10:11 AM
that Jan had never chosen bicycling, the choice was made for him. He is the product of defunct East Germ Olympic machine, he had been selected at age 6 because he had exceptional lung volume and low tibia/femur ratio.

Second, Jan isn't the only pro cyclist who follows rock'n'roll lifestyle, there're many others. He might be the most successful one. If he had Lance ego he'd be so much above anyone else, noone would dare to challenge him.
low tibia/femur ratiocollinsc
May 6, 2002 10:24 AM
Ive heard this before but dont understand the implication. What does this mean in reality and in cycling?

low tibia/femur ratio - Correct me if i'm wrong someone.EpicX
May 6, 2002 12:24 PM
I'm pretty sure it refers to the ratio between your thighbone(femur) and shinbone/lowerleg (tibia) length. The theory being that a longer femur provides greater leverage hence the ability to push larger gears. It seems reasonably accurate. Jan and Indurain both have this trait and both are famous for using relatively large gearing. Looking at a picture of lance on my cubicle wall, it looks like his are more nearly equal. Maybe that's why he's been so successful on 'smaller' gears.