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Did Ullrich chicken out?(5 posts)

Did Ullrich chicken out?esbike
May 9, 2002 9:26 PM
I know he is said to have knee problems, but I wonder if being labeled as the "most talented" cyclist but still losing to LA two years in a row finally broke him mentally. If he really, really wanted to compete in this year's tour, I wonder if he would have tried to rehab the knee faster and not do stupid things get drunk and crash his car.
Strategic chickening outwoodes
May 10, 2002 3:23 AM
I think he realized that after his meticulous preparation in 2001 that still came up short when it counted that not being able to train even close to that level meant that he had little chance againt Armstrong (at least on paper). So, why push his preparation (and risk further knee damage) to finish :45 minutes behind Armstrong?
I think Jan is telling the truth.Sintesi
May 10, 2002 4:31 AM
His expectations were so high this year after all the intense winter training that to show up at the tour in anything less than stellar form would be a huge let down. His knee pain was a chronic problem from January that just wouldn't go away. He probably lost focus awhile ago.
I agree.Len J
May 10, 2002 4:54 AM
He changes his trining pattern, probably overtrains & aggrevates his knee, keeps training & makes it worse, realizes that all the hard work is going down the drain, gets a little depressed, has a few drinks and has the accident. Sounds pretty human to me. I suspect that before the knee started hurting, he was feeling pretty optimistic about his chances, who wouldn't get depressed to see a chance drift away.

I like Jan more and more as I watch him struggle, it will be interesting to see if he can come back next year. Who knows, distance from racing may give hime a new perspective.

Len
re: Did Ullrich chicken out?Duane Gran
May 10, 2002 5:50 AM
I think it must have been a very hard decision for Ullrich and the team to make. If they guy would finish any worse than second the press would be acting as if his career was finished. From a sponsorship standpoint, they may fare better to avoid bringing any attention.

That said, I'm a big Ullrich fan and hope he heals. I have tremendous respect for his talent and dedication to the sport.