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Ullrich not to start in Tour!(63 posts)

Ullrich not to start in Tour!MRS
May 7, 2002 2:49 AM
I just read (on - a German cycling news website) that Ullrich will not start in the Tour de France this year, apparently due to his ongoing knee problems. They didn't have any more information yet, but I am sure there will be big discussions.
Godefroot also said yesterday, that Ullrich has the potential of an Eddy Merckx, but that only Ullrich can decide if he wants use it or not.
May 7, 2002 3:05 AM
It is on also. Hopefully someone will be able to atleast challenge Lance or it will be a really boring Tour
re: Ullrich not to start in Tour!gbk
May 7, 2002 4:00 AM
According to Team Telekom's homepage,
He will not be ready to start in races until begining of june.
They think that is to little competition before Le tour.
And he might still have to go through knee surgery
Really too bad,TJeanloz
May 7, 2002 4:02 AM
That is a shame, as he is among very few riders who can challenge Armstrong. Let's hope that somebody emerges from the void to make the race interesting.
Pantani should quit Mercatone UnoRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 4:10 AM
and get on a Tour team to upset the organizers.
Forget Pantanigregdogg62
May 7, 2002 4:16 AM
Wht does anybody care about this guy. Since he has been off the JUICE he hasn't done anything. So he might be a good climber, but he would never challenge Lance for the overall. Forget the cheater.
Forget PantaniRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 4:18 AM
He could make a what looks to be boring tour be a little interesting. I bet the organizers now are really kicking themselves with their decisions to snub a couple of the high profile Italians. You know who I am talking about. The other looks like a Zebra when he rides. Let's face it, they are going to have to do something to save face.
Forget Pantanipmf1
May 7, 2002 8:18 AM
Who cares about Cipo? There are plenty of sprinters to make the early stages interesting. Cipo never finishes the TDF anyway. I too think Pantani is washed up. He hasn't done anything since being ejected for drug use a couple years ago. I hope someone challenges Armstrong. Unfortunately, I predict the tour will be another boring Lance-a-thon. You need to be more than a good climber to beat him.

I remember cheering for Julich to stay in 3-rd place a number of years ago. That was more exciting than watching Armstrong win again and again.
Forget PantaniRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 10:20 AM
Cippo adds style and fun to the tour even though he doesn't finish it. Of course Pantani is washed up. He is a major head case, however, he can provide good entertainment and possibly some great climbing stages. It would be more fun to have those two in than without. Of course, Cippo doesn't want to race the Tour anyway.
Pantani & CipoTig
May 7, 2002 10:20 AM
I agree with those who believe that Pantani can't win without performance enhancing drugs. Ever since he was forced to clean up, we've seen very little from him. It now looks obvious that his past TDF and Giro wins were made possible due to drugs and not his natural ability. Granted, he can kick all of our butts when he's clean!

Cipo said last month he didn't want to ride the TDF, so there isn't any loss by his team not getting an invite.
What exactly is wrong with his knee?nmhayaku
May 7, 2002 4:13 AM
What exactly is wrong with his knee?nmRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 4:18 AM
I heard tendinitis. Is this correct?
What exactly is wrong with his knee?nmMisJG
May 7, 2002 4:48 AM
Tendonitis means nothing. It is a general term for tendon pain. In other words:
Patient: "My knee hurts"
Doctor: "It's Tendonitis"
Patient: [wow, that was a big word. this doc really knows his stuff]
Doctor: [using big words to say 'I don't know' is the greatest doctor trick ever invented!]
This is a shame, but...Djudd
May 7, 2002 5:18 AM
someone will emerge to challenge Lance. I'm sure there are more than a few riders who will take this opportunity to get fired up and take a few chances.
I hope at some point we can see the Ullrich we saw in '96 and '97. I can only speculate but he doesn't seem to take care of himself or even care. He gets laughed at for being (relatively) fat in the off and early season, then he gets fired up, by that time it's too late. Maybe this latest injury will open his eyes and he will get really serious about working year-round to take advantage of the talent everyone knows he has.
Until then I'm sure some young rider will step up and take a run at Lance. Jean-Marie is hoping that rider will be French. I'm hoping something will happen. Any Simons still racing.
Give the guy a breakRay Sachs
May 7, 2002 6:28 AM
By all accounts, his condition was as good or better last year as it was in '97. His trainer thought so and his times on some similar rides backed it up. He just couldn't beat Lance. THAT doesn't make him a failure. Sounds like this year he was OVERtraining and that's what caused his problems. Yeah, after this last injury he got good and frustrated, got drunk, had a minor traffic accident with a couple of women in the car, and generally blew it.

But imagine your frustration if you'd been briefly the best in the world and had everyone compare you to Merckx, only to have a superman like Lance come along. Jan has raced great the last couple of years, 2001 in particular, but was second best. That's a fact, not a character flaw.

A Story Heard So Many Time In The Sports WorldRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 7:20 AM
I bet these guys hate being compared to a legend. They hardly ever measure up to it.
What exactly is wrong with his knee?nmbnoojin
May 7, 2002 5:40 PM
all jan needs are speedplays.
What exactly is wrong with his knee?nmRadicalRonPruitt
May 8, 2002 3:39 AM
Maybe he could stand next to Lemond and do some advertising while he is out.
I can just hear itDougSloan
May 7, 2002 5:29 AM
All we'll hear about throughout the Tour is whether things might have been different had Jan been there, and whether this win really "counts" without him, ignoring the other 190(?) riders.

For whatever reason, it seems that Pantani has not done well since they cracked down on EPO. Could be coincidence, though. He's an interesting character (sort of like Cippolini), but not a contender.

I hope that Phil and Paul are too intelligent to...Djudd
May 7, 2002 5:40 AM
ruin the race for us by trying to de-legitimize it for the sake of Ullrich's knee.
They should be . . .TrekFurthur
May 7, 2002 5:48 AM
In '99, LA was "untried" so to speak; since then, he's put Ulrich in second three years running. That record should legitimize a win without Ulrich in the race. A shame, though.
He's beat Jan twice not three times.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 6:17 AM
jan wasn't there in 99.
He's beat Jan twice not three times.RadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 7:20 AM
Neither was Pantani.
I can just hear itRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 5:47 AM
So does Lance's first victory count? Wasn't that the one without Ulrich and Pantani? I wouldn't count on it. It didn't matter then, why would it matter this year? Beloki might be strong. Simoni could pull it off. What about Casagrande?
Leipheimer, Hamilton, et alMcAndrus
May 7, 2002 5:52 AM
I think there are lots of contenders. The second string guys like Beloki and Moreau are never real contenders anyhow and have always raced for a top five spot.

There's lots of new blood around like Leipheimer, Hamilton, Simoni, etc. Come to think of it, I'd love to see Livingston working for himself in the mountains: that would be glorious.

Any now Postal's tactics will have to change.
I wonder who Telekom will ride for?Jekyll
May 7, 2002 6:23 AM
It would be pretty awsome if they did their best to give Livingston a shot at the GC. I don't think he has a chance to win but it would be nice to see a duel in a few mountain stages between him and Armstrong.
Telekom will most likely ride for Zabel...Cima Coppi
May 7, 2002 6:53 AM
Although the Tele's have Livingston and Julich, neither are really contenders for the overall G.C. Therefore, Telekom will put together a support team to help Zabel take another Green jersey, and get exposure for the sponsors this way.

Should be interesting.

Telekom will most likely ride for Zabel...atpjunkie
May 7, 2002 7:11 AM
True, Telekom will build around Zabel this year. Which is alright as EZ is a great guy, total bike nut and nice guy if you ever getthe chance to meet him. Casero (Coast) got screwed so it will be up to young blood (Sevilla, Leipheimer) to challenge LA. Personally I think Levi should have stayed with USPS and used the tutelage of Lance and the Spaniards. I think this would be better than having all the GC pressure at such a young age. His first TdF and he's Rabobank's #1. Being an understudy worked well for Lemond (though he did have to give a tour as a gift)and I worry Leipheimer may burn out from the pressure. It is my opinion that LA will win again as he has plenty of motivation. The sacred 5 is within his reach . If he can do consecutives he will equal his pal Indurain and tie the all time. Eddy says he can do 7, I think he'll settle for 6. It provides some excitement as we may see the record broken. Jan will be back, if LA hadn't been here the last couple years we'd be extolling him still as a great. His form was excellent last year it's been good enough for 2 2nd's in the TdF. He'd have 3 Yellow Jerseys if it wasn't for Lance so quit making issues of his training. He's a great, dominant rider, he just happened to come along at the same time of one greater.
It's not the first time in cycling this has happened.
Go Levi! Is Casero riding? (nm)Stampertje
May 7, 2002 6:11 AM
No Le Tour in its infinite wisdom excluded Team Coast.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 6:27 AM
Both Casero (last years Vuelta winner) and Zulle, who is experiencing a resurgence of sorts have been excluded. You would think winning the Vuelta would equal an automatic inclusion in the other grand tours. I thought this was the biggest flaw in the Tour team selections this year.
It will be an interesting TDF anywayLargo
May 7, 2002 6:23 AM
LA is not a god.
An amazing athelete, but not unbeatable.
I wouldn't have picked Jan for second this year, and i wouldn't put money on another LA win, although he is the favourite.
Anything can happen and it will be far from boreing for us spectators.
Simoni will do really well, i predict.
Jan still has some good years left, IF he wants too.
I can't see Simoni going all out for the Giro and...Sintesi
May 7, 2002 6:31 AM
being truly competitive for the TdF. Remember the guy can't time trial all that great. Hopefully he can make a couple stages interesting.

Maybe Sevilla can step it up. He's the big potential for the future. I have a feeling after Lance is done, Jan is not going to be looking at an easy path to victory.
Am I dreaming or does Julich step up?...Djudd
May 7, 2002 7:05 AM
This is his chance, probably his last, at a shot at the podium again. Maybe he surprises us all. Who else does Telekom ride for on g.c.?
How old is Ulrich?RadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 7:22 AM
Howdy boyfriend.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 7:49 AM
Turned 29 this year.
May 7, 2002 10:22 AM
He is a year and half younger than Lance. Age won't be a factor there in terms of after Lance retires, because Ulrich will either be there or close behind.
My guess is Andreas Kloden gets the nod.Sintesi
May 7, 2002 7:24 AM
After all it is a German team. But who knows who will show up strong enough on that team? It's pretty packed. I'm sure Walter Godefroote (sp?) will not hesitate to go with whoever has the best shot at winning.
Vinokourov nmWannabe
May 7, 2002 8:27 AM
Am I dreaming or does Julich step up?...Djudd
May 7, 2002 7:16 AM
This is his chance, probably his last, at a shot at the podium again. Maybe he surprises us all. Who else does Telekom ride for on g.c.?
oops, sorry about the double postDjudd
May 7, 2002 7:19 AM
Time Trials...the heart of the matterCactus1
May 7, 2002 7:09 AM
This year's tour has a Team TT and a long Individual TT BEFORE the big mountains. I think a contender to Lance must have a strong team time trial, and himself be a strong time trialer and climber.

Otherwise a climber could be down big before the mountains. Tour 2002 is not a pure climber's tour. Lance will have to have a bad day or crash. I just don't see a climber being say 8-10 minutes better in the mountains.

Possible candidates: Beloki (if he has better form than last year), Botero (if he regains his 2000 form and keeps his TT), Leipheimer (it's his first tour, but he's on a big team), Casagrande?

Simoni is going for the Giro and isn't a first class time-trialer

Hamilton is riding the Giro. Will he keep his form for 2 Tours?

Casero is uninvited!

Pantani--gimme a break. He's so annoying. He has no character and perhaps EPO.
May 7, 2002 7:24 AM
With Pantani's condition of diareah in the mouth this year, it would be interesting to have him at the tour to spout off something totally worthless about Lance and watch the soap opera unfold. Like him or not, it would be fun even though his career is over.
Leipheimer could surpise us all again.Largo
May 7, 2002 8:01 AM
He really shone at the Vuelta, and he can certainly TT.
He's been lying really low this spring.
Look for great things from the mellow guy from Montana.
Imagine a "North American" 1-2 at the TDF??
Leipheimer could surpise us all again.RadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 10:22 AM
Who is he racing for this year?
Rabobank - nmMcAndrus
May 7, 2002 11:17 AM
Rabobank - nmRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 11:37 AM
Why did he leave US Postal. It is cool though to see more and more European Teams with American on them.
May 7, 2002 12:23 PM
I read somewhere that Postal's payroll budget was full up. After the Vuelta, Levi rightfully expected a raise and Postal wouldn't give him one. So, he split. From what I could tell there are no hard feelings, just Levi taking advantage of an opportunity - much like Livingston and Hamilton before him.
Money and a chance to ride for himself?Largo
May 7, 2002 4:08 PM
USPS can't have 2 big tour contenders, although it may be a stretch to compare Levi to LA
May 8, 2002 3:37 AM
Can't blame him, but he really isn't proven yet either. Could be another whiner like Julich.
To All Pantani Bashersbartali
May 7, 2002 9:52 AM
At least he raced in BOTH Giro and Tour in a single season. And, oh yeah that's right, he WON both Giro and Tour in the same year. That's more than Lance can ever handle in a single season.

And for those who remember, that was the Tour where THREE teams were kicked out along with many cyclists for doping. Pantani (obviously) was negative each time he was tested in that year's Tour as well as Giro.

At any rate, it will be another boring Tour. And even though Cipo would have left before the stages in the Alps, at least he would have brought some color and entertainment to what has already become the most boring race of the season.
So why hasn't he made a comeback?Largo
May 7, 2002 10:16 AM
If he was negative (benefit of the doubt) why has he failed to make a single impression since?
Virenque has come back from that fiasco quite well.
The only reason he (Pantani) did so well was that he was doped to the hilt, my opinion.
I'm not a huge LA fan, but the fact that he isn't doing any other big tours points to him being clean.
Pantani is a cycling joke. If he makes a comeback to the upper echelon of the sport, i'll gladly eat my words.
I still love watching the TDF, because i love bike racing, and its a he!! of a show.
I agree about Cippo, i wish he was there.
So why hasn't he made a comeback?bartali
May 7, 2002 10:56 AM
Are you questioning the testing of the 98 Tour? Why can't you just accept that for each stage that he won and for each day he wore the yellow jersey, he had to submit a urine sample and that urine sample came up negative? It was the strickest Tour (dope-wise) ever but Pantani came up clean.

I'm sick and tired about hearing that Pantani won only because he doped. You, nor anyone else, have no evidence of that. He won Giro and Tour and came up negative multiple times in both stage races. Why can't you accept that?

I agree with you that Pantani has BECOME a cycling joke. He talks too much and can't back up a single word he says. I am not surprised that he wasn't invited to the Tour because quite frankly he doesn't deserve it.

As to "knowing" Lance is clean because he isn't doing any of the other big Tours, I have to say well then, Merckx, Coppi, Anquetil, Hinault and Indurain were doping then? With your logic, that's what you're insinuating.
Let's get into the Way Back Machine...TJeanloz
May 7, 2002 11:32 AM
Let's take a moment to look back upon all the drug testing that was done at the 1998 Tour and all the people who tested positive.

From what I can see in the archive, 0 riders tested positive. I'm pretty sure that more than 0 riders were doping, therefore, I am questioning the testing of the 1998 Tour. Only one team was thrown out of the Tour in 1998- Festina, and only after their soigner was caught with 250 vials of EPO (which, by the way, would not have been picked up in a drug test). The other teams that did not finish abandoned somewhat voluntarily.

Your insistence about the urine sample is an interesting one, because the drug that Pantani is most often accused of using, EPO, was indetectable in urine before 2000. And widescale urine testing for EPO didn't begin until 2001 (and the accuracy of the test is still debated). So, Pantani could easily have passed any urine test. Had he been subjected to a blood test, and been found to have a high haematacrit (as he was at the Giro a year later), we still wouldn't know for sure if he was doping or not.

Do we have evidence that we doped? Not aside from a proxy positive in the Giro just a year later. I'd say that's pretty strong evidence. Not enough to dole out a suspension, but enough to presume that his success came dope-enhanced.

Furthermore, the 2001 Tour had the strictest dope control as both urine and blood were taken and tested (and then confiscated by the French government to be tested again.) Much stricter than the blood tests done in 1998.
Let's get into the Way Back Machine...bartali
May 8, 2002 8:09 AM
True about the EPO but there was the hemocrit level test which if Pantani had come up with over 50% would have indicated that he was using EPO. He did not register over 50% during the Giro and the Tour as I'm sure as owner of the pink and yellow jersies he had to be tested (as well as being a stage winner). Therefore we have to conclude that he didn't use it during Giro and Tour.

Has Pantani doped? Absolutely. I'm not here defending him as a clean athlete. But for crying out loud, he did not come up positive in 1998 for anything and his hemocrit level was under 50% for that cycling season. That is my point.
That's the thing with EPO though,TJeanloz
May 8, 2002 9:23 AM
It's the 'you can never prove a negative' bit again. You're right, we don't have an indication that Pantani was using EPO in the Giro/Tour in 1998. But his haematacrit was tested at 60% at the hospital after a wreck in Milan-Turin in 1995 (for which he was found guilty of 'sporting fraud' in 2000). And then at 52% in the 1999 Giro. So, we know he was doping before 1998, and we know he was doping afterwards, and we know he had his most success between those two incidents.

As for never turning up over 50% in 1998; that was the whole game of EPO, it was blackjack with blood cells, and Pantani didn't bust in 1998.
That's the thing with EPO though,bartali
May 8, 2002 10:27 AM
Well, I know but the fact is he came up clean in all the tests.

I was a huge fan of Pantani and to be honest, I didn't sour on him because of the incident at the 1999 Giro. What disappointed me was that he stayed out of cycling until April 2000. He then went to the Giro and rode for Garzelli to win. He held up in the hills and looked pretty good.

Then in the Tour he gave us that wonderful duel with Armstrong. He blows up in his final stage and decides to go home. Why did he quit like that? That was very disappointing and he had no one to blame but himself for not training until April of that year.

One would have thought that he would have improved last year but instead he just got worse.
Chill dude.Largo
May 7, 2002 12:37 PM
For god sakes, i'm just conversing with you.
I never said i know LA is clean, it just seems to me that the signs point that way, but who knows?
Tjeanloz said it best regarding the EPO thing.
Chill dude.RadicalRonPruitt
May 8, 2002 3:36 AM
A lot of people need to chill on this board. We have some real stiffs on here!
To All Pantani BashersRadicalRonPruitt
May 7, 2002 10:23 AM
Well Said
Pantanis' time is coming!fastfinish
May 7, 2002 11:53 AM
In the coming weeks in the Tour of Italy Pantani will be able to make or brake his case to the cycling world. One of two things will happen. 1)He will ride like the old Pantani and crush people in the mountains and will always be able to argue that he never took dope because he has performed without them. OR THE 2nd option) He rides along in the Peloton, gets dropped in the mountains, and retires with a tainted record that will always point towards him being doped. We will know very soon.
What about Erik Zabel?? NMfrank_freedom
May 7, 2002 7:20 PM
Pantanis' time is coming!RadicalRonPruitt
May 8, 2002 3:38 AM
My guess is the second, although he could point to the bike this year since he is on a new bike. The characteristics of the bike weren't up to...
If Pantani rides well in the Giro, I'll be surprised. -nmbartali
May 8, 2002 8:18 AM