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A question about Lance and Jan...(52 posts)

A question about Lance and Jan...Ron B
Jul 18, 2001 12:12 PM
I've heard this for the past several years since 1997 when Jan Ullrich won the Tour and I'm wondering why people still state it. The statment is that Jan Ullrich is the most talented rider in the Peleton. Granted he is an increadible rider and deserves much credit for his acomplishments, but...

For the past two years Lance has beaten Jan on both the climbs and the time trials in the Tour De France. It again looks like Lance is going to beat Jan on both the climbs and the time trials. Lance has also show the ability to do well in the Classics as well as shown at the Amstel Gold race earlier this year and last year.

Now why would you call a rider the most talanted rider in the world if he consistantly gets beaten in pretty much all aspects of riding by another rider?

This year Jan came into the tour in very good shape compared to previous years. It looks like he honestly thought he could beat Lance this year with his current fitness level and gave it his best on Tuesday, only to come up short.

Now if Lance beats the most talented rider in the world on a regular basis in all aspects of riding wouldn't/shouldn't he be considered the most talented rider?

One knock on Lance that I also hear a lot is that he only rides and trains for the Tour De France, this in not really true it's just the most important to him and I'm guessing his sponsers since that's the only race that most of america has ever heard of. This year Lance had a 2nd place finish at Amstel Gold, won the tour de Swiss, should win the Tour de France and has done well is other races. Lance has also shown his versatility by competing in some mountain bike races and placing well there (has Jan ever competed in mountain bike racing?).

It is my feeling that eurpean riders and press will never accept Lance as the rider that he is and will never give him the respect that he deserves even if he wins 6 tours. They will always say he was on drugs or his competition wasn't that good or create some other excuse.

I however do believe that Lance is the most talented rider in the peleton and that is why he is winning the tour, not because of drugs, lack of competition or any other reason. He is plain and simply the most talented rider in the Peleton.

Flame or agree away...
re: A question about Lance and Jan...mr_spin
Jul 18, 2001 12:27 PM
If you believe that Lance is the most talented rider in the peleton, then you should also accept that Lance knows what he is talking about when he says Ullrich is the most talented. Who would be in a better position to judge?

However, talent does not necessarily equate to success. Take that speed skater, Dan Jansen I think, who was always supposed to win Olympic gold, and he finally did on his third Olympic games. No one doubted his talent, but he couldn't win. Or look at Robert Downey, Jr. He's a talented actor, but he can't keep his life straightened out.

Exploiting talent requires hard work, and no one works harder than Lance. I think you'll find most of the Euro riders, including USPS team mates, are in awe of Lance's ability and his training methods.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...jschrotz
Jul 18, 2001 12:38 PM
I agree with mr_spin on this one. Ullrich is physically, probably the most gifted rider out there. The fact that Armstrong has beaten him consistently in the past 2-3 years is a testament to Armstrong's training and dedication to make the most of his considerable talent. It would be truly scary to see Ullrich adopt the same kind of drive and dedication that Armstrong has. That's Armstrong's advantage. He lives for his performance in the Tour and seemingly little else. Ullrich, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more human and indulges himself (too much!) in the offseason while Armstrong is slogging through more and more training.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...J2AS
Jul 18, 2001 1:00 PM
I can't believe your statement. What proof do you have that Ullrich is "physically, probably the most gifted rider out there". Do you have VO2 stats along with other scientific data to back that up? This crap about Ullrich being the most talented rider in the peleton is subjective, euro hype. Ullrich is an awesome speciman; Armstrong is pound-for-pound better.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...jschrotz
Jul 18, 2001 3:37 PM
Then don't believe my statement. I couldn't give a rat's backside whether you believe it or not. The fact remains that the general consensus among the racing community, Chris Carmichael included, is that Ullrich has more of the physical attributes for success than anyone else in the peleton. Armstrong does more with his abilities than Ullrich does though and that is the primary difference between the two. Armstrong's desire and work ethic put him on the top spot of the podium while Ullrich's lack of year-long focus usually relegates him to the runner-up spot. Ullrich has shown up in shape this year, but he could be even better if had the same desire and training intensity as Armstrong.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...J2AS
Jul 18, 2001 9:38 PM
Easy big guy, sounds like you're not prepared to back up your statement, I called you on it, and now you're lashing out with more factless dribble. I've never heard or read about Charmichael saying Ullrich is "physically more talented than LA". Even if he did, I'd call him on it (he'd probably say something like that to play mind games with Ullrich as does Armstrong). If you have anything to disprove this (along with scientific data) please educate me. As for the "general consensus among the racing community", again show me the money. Media has hyped the Superman Ullrich mantra and alot of expert wannabees (you apparently included)have jumped on the bandwagon, but once again there is nothing to back it up. "Talent" is subjective with no real objective way to measure it.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...jschrotz
Jul 19, 2001 9:57 AM
I'm not getting hostile or anything, you can choose to believe whatever you want. If you want to believe in Santa Claus I wouldn't have a problem with that. If you've got some facts to back up your opinion about LA being the more gifted rider, I'd love to see them. Keep in mind though, that you'll need the stats on all the riders out there in the peleton for the sake of completeness. You don't seem to offer up anything more than I am, so why should your dribble be taken any more seriously than mine? I've actually spoken to Carmichael after he gave a talk at the Seattle bike expo this past May, and that is where he made the statement that Ullrich was the most complete rider. Since none of the international cycling media was in the room to pick that up, I doubt if it was any kind of smoke screen. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to get his statement on tape for you, so I guess I can't really show you "the money".
Only one fact matters...Lou M
Jul 19, 2001 12:37 PM
LA has won two consecutive TDF's (and counting). He has beaten Ulrich fair and square the past two years, actually three counting this year. Only championships matter. No one remembers "potential talent" since that's all that it is unless it is capitalized upon. You are all wasting your breath and effort with this argument. LA is the best cyclist, he has proved and is doing it again.

Enough of the Ulrich "talent", "gifted" crap.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...J2AS
Jul 19, 2001 11:02 PM
Let's stick to the arguement shall we - LA vs. the Kaiser. My facts are these: Head to head over their history of racing against each other LA wins. Jan said yesterday he is in as good shape now as he has ever been (he's getting his arse handed to him so far by LA, even when in the best shape of his life). LA wins in my book. Your opinion is fine, I respectfully disagree.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...Ray Sachs
Jul 19, 2001 3:42 AM
I hate to jump into the middle of a good argument, but Ullrich was quoted yesterday addressing this very question. He said something to the effect of 'LA has been quoted several times as saying I am the most talented rider in the peloton - based on current evidence, you can't make that claim' or words to that effect. He also said he couldn't be any more fit or ready or be riding any better than he is now. Jan doesn't seem to believe it, anyway, and that says plenty.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...Ron B
Jul 18, 2001 1:03 PM
First off Lance would never admit to being the most talented rider to anybody but himself. If he did everybody would call him an arogant A$$ and nobody would support him in any manner (look at other athletes that have done that). Besides in athletics you always show your humbleness by stating that your closest competitor is the better athlete but he just had a bad day, year, etc. That in no way proves who is the most talented.

I do agree that the most physically gifted athlete does not always win, but I would argue that that is also a factor in talent. It takes talent to win whether it is tactics, athletisism, etc. It's all factored into the talent that somebody has. In this case I say that Lance is both physically more gifted and in this race so far is also tactically been superior.

If most of the riders are in awe of his ability wouldn't that relate to his talent as well. If you talk about Lance's training methods don't you think Jan worked his butt off this year to win the Tour? He came into this years tour in shape and fully expected to win the tour this year (he may still) and fully expecting to win both on Tuesday and today. But the simple fact is he didn't, both because Lance worked harder in the off season and because Lance was physically stronger and able to climb faster. The simple fact is that Lance is lighter and able to climb faster than Jan and is able to equal or better Jan's time trialing ability. I would say based upon that Lance is the more talented rider, and considering they are considerd by many to be the best in the world I'd say that Lance is the most physically gifted and hardest working rider in the peleton.
Lance the most talented rider in the peloton?Largo
Jul 18, 2001 12:39 PM
Who won the Olympic road race? Who won the Olympic TT? Who won the Giro d'Italia, who won the Worlds? I could go on, but the point is that while LA is an incredibly talented rider, to say he is THE most talented is a bit of a stretch.
LA peaks for the TDF, because thats the race he wants.
If he was the most talented, he would be doing all the races and tours and doing well at all of them.
And the tour is not over yet, still lots of time for anything to happen.
Lance the most talented rider in the peloton?Ron B
Jul 18, 2001 1:18 PM
In rebuttle...

At the Olympics Lance had no desire to win the road race. He was working for George Hincapi that day so of course he didn't win. He was paying George back for all the hard work he did for him in the Tour. If it wasn't for them not paying attention I think George had a good shot at winning the race. In the time trial if Lance had gone off in the morning before the wind picked up he probably would have won the time trial, but circumstances played out that he did not have the best conditions of the day. It happens.

It has been said that Lance only rides and trains for the Tour de France, but what has Jan done this year? He rode in the Giro but had no results at all and was only seen near the front when leading out his teamates for a sprint finish, he used it to get in shape for the Tour. Lance however won the Tour de Swiss and took second at Amstel Gold. What did Jan do this year other than win the German Championship? He trained specifically to win the Tour but you don't hear about that do you?

It is a simple fact that no rider in this day and age is going to win every race that he enters, if they tried they would be so drained they wouldn't win a thing. But I'm making the contention here that Lance is the most physically gifted rider in the world. You say that is a stretch but people say it about Jan all of the time and nobody doubts it. Well I do based upon results and Jan just doesn't have them compared to Lance over the past three years and this is when Jan was supposed to be unbeatable and in the prime of his racing career. If you think Jan doesn't work hard and just doesn't have the desire to win I'd say you are smoking crack. I personally believe he has taken his body as far as it will take him and Lance is still the better rider.

Granted had Lance never had cancer this debate would not be happening because he would not be the same rider he is today and Jan would be the man. But his body changed after cancer and so did his physical abilities and his talent level.

If people, media, etc are going to say that Jan is the most talented rider then he should be able to back it up with results. But to this point he has been unable to beat Lance and if I were a betting man I would say that he won't be able to until Lance decides he does not want to ride any longer.
Jul 18, 2001 2:48 PM
I wouldn't say ullrich is the most talented either, although, as some allude to, he may be the most naturally gifted.
He has the raw material, but not the same drive as some.
Maybe JU should go see Chris Carmichael this off season!! (nm)Cima Coppi
Jul 18, 2001 3:19 PM
Talent is just that....Lou M
Jul 18, 2001 1:33 PM
Talent doesn't translate into success. Look at all the the over-hyped, overrated athletes in all sports who turn out to be a bust. It should suffice to conclude that LA is currently the best cyclist, better than Ulrich. They have gone head to head the past three years and we all know the results. Athletitism and talent do not mean jack if you can't capitalize on it. Face it Ulrich is and will be second to LA. If both concentrated in training for the same races, I'll still put my money on LA.
Two words: "Darryl Strawberry."....Shylock
Jul 18, 2001 3:22 PM
...Touted as one of the greatest talents to ever play baseball....He was. but, he couldn't get disciplined and couldn't lay off the pipe. Sad stuff.
Another example but different...Ron B.
Jul 18, 2001 4:03 PM
Here is an example of increadible talent but lack of physical ability.

Look at Lary Bird. He wasn't all that fast, couldn't jump all that well and was not the most agile player on the court. So physically he was not all that much of a talent. But he could read a court like nobody else in the game, he could pass and he could shoot. There is much more to talent than just physical ability.

This leads to my contention that Lance is the most talented rider in the game today. Ullrich may have more physical gifts but he either doesn't want to use them or does not know how. Lance does use them all and is better than Jan because of it. He uses all of his abilities from hard work, genitics, tactics and desire. It is this combination that makes him both the most talented and best cyclist in the game.
Why Ullrich is the most talented...TJeanloz
Jul 18, 2001 3:28 PM
A lot of people, myself included, feel that Ullrich is the most talented bike racer since Eddy Merckx. Why? He rode his first Tour in 1996, and finished SECOND. Add to that the fact that his teammate won the race. So here's a guy who, in his first tour, rides support for Riis all day long and still manages to finish second. We're all cheering if another USPS guy finishes in the top 20.

1997 Ullrich wins the Tour at age 23. One of the youngest guys in the field wins it. Who was just complaining about Christian VandeVelde being too inexperienced for the tour? Lance won his first tour at 27- significantly more mature in the world of cycling. Not to mention that all the contenders in 1997 were seriously hopped up on EPO (Virenque, Pantani et. al.) Ullrich beat the pants off people.

But what's clear is that Ullrich beats people up and doesn't even want to. Ullrich has no passion, doesn't really care about the sport, and still manages to make people look stupid. So here's a guy who doesn't really train properly, isn't super motivated, and doesn't seem to care- and he's never finished below 2nd place in the Tour.

Lance cares a lot, a real lot, he is as dedicated as Ullrich is indifferent. And it is amazing to most watchers that Ullrich is able to do so well with such utter indifference. We fear the power that would be unleashed if you put Lance's motivation with Ullrich's pure power.
Why Ullrich is the most talented...Canidraftyou
Jul 18, 2001 5:44 PM
Most talented is about right. It takes more than talent. It takes the following; training, desire, passion, know how, dedication, oh yeah talent. He is not a Champion. Simply the most talented.

Peace out,
Jul 19, 2001 9:31 AM
Like it or not. Even his own country questions him. My thoughts on it anyway. "Believe it or not."

Peace out,
Why Ullrich is the most talented...Shockee
Jul 18, 2001 6:37 PM
'But what's clear is that Ullrich beats people up and doesn't even want to. Ullrich has no passion, doesn't really care about the sport, and still manages to make people look stupid. So here's a guy who doesn't really train properly, isn't super motivated, and doesn't seem to care- and he's never finished below 2nd place in the Tour.'

Sorry, but I call that a pile of unsubstantiated crap. The truth is that the vast multitude of riders in the Peleton, Jan included, are 100% super-motivated achievers with cycling as their one focus in life at this point. There is no way to get there, stay there and contend without said passion! D@amn, I trained hard and lived like a nun for a couple years and couldn't win even in mere cat 3!

I hope that you don't mistake Jan's stiff Euro demeanour for lack of passion either - Americans and Germans tend to behave a little differently, you know? The truth is you can't tell what he is really thinking by the few glimpses we see on TV.

It's a different perspective from the saddle than the armchair, dude ;) I give him the benefit of the doubt, and can relate to how hard it is to maintain his weight in the off season. Gotta wonder why he lets it get out of control, however :(
Ullrich has no passion...TJeanloz
Jul 19, 2001 9:10 AM
I knew people would question that statement. If most of you knew Jan Ullrich's background as well as you know Lance Armstrong's you'd understand the statement. Let's have a history lesson.

How did Jan get into cycling?
He was a product of the East German Olympic machine. A year after kindergarten, all the children in his school were measured and phisiologically tested to determine if they met certain criteria that East German scientists had determined would be good for sport. Ullrich's lung capacity and large femur/tibia ratio made him a cyclist. Ullrich didn't choose cycling, cycling chose him. He was told from a very young age that cycling would be his ticket to glory and fame- and once the Berlin Wall fell, money came into the picture. So winning his first tour was very important for Ullrich- it meant a lot of money and fame. It's an age old problem- would you do a job that you were really good at, even if you hated it? In Ullrich's case, he's really good, but not really dedicated to the sport.

Every bike racer I know out there (from cat 5 to pro) is disciplined about their winter training and eating, and constantly thinking about how they can be a better bike racer. Jan says things like "Thank god it's winter so I can ignore my bike."

As for mistaking Euro demeanor- I'm a Swiss citizen, have spent have my life there, and raced my bike there; we invented the stiff Euro demeanor.

There's been a lot of banter in Velonews and other rags about this huge rivalry between Armstrong and Ullrich- much like the worthless bits about a Livingston/Armstrong conflict that doesn't exist. Ullrich has said it before, he's in the sport for the money, not for the sport, and every year he lines up for the tour, he'll be a contender- but he's not motivated to win it again.
Remember how fan JU was after the winter?cyclopathic
Jul 19, 2001 10:58 AM
couldn't say it better myself!

I guess noone disagree we see best of Lance but we wont ever see best of Ullrich
FAT not fan typo nmcyclopathic
Jul 19, 2001 7:52 PM
Maybe he really wants to be a dancer like >>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 19, 2001 3:42 PM
Billy Elliot :-)
Good points, but....XJT
Jul 18, 2001 11:07 PM
Is Ullrich talented? Hell yes! But who the hell are you to even begin to make assumptions about say he's indifferent. I dunno man, you have some great points but your still floating a lot of shit in the boal. You talk like Ullrich is just out there racing and doesn't care that Lance is kicking his f*cking ass....that's total bullsh!t.

Lance may be more mature and have more drive, but the battle between these two in the TDF has not even been close the past two seasons even if Ullrich possessed LA's committment to excellence (assuming he doesn't have it), I don't know if he would still be able to close a gap that appears to be pretty signifigant.

I do think Ullrich has a realistic shot at the tour this year....but it's slippping away...
thank you!Duane Gran
Jul 19, 2001 5:52 AM
Thank you for so clearly stating what I have been trying to tell my friends for months. I'm a fan of both Ullrich and Armstrong. I firmly believe that Ullrich would be the stronger rider if he were as disciplined as Armstrong, but that is simply academic.
No Passion for Ullrich?ak
Jul 19, 2001 6:58 AM
Does Anyone remember seeing Ullrich throw his bike across the street in the 1998 (I think) TDF? That didn't seem like a man with no passion for the sport to me.
And Jordan said the same thing about Derrick Coleman...XJT
Jul 20, 2001 12:04 PM
Do you think any NBA fan knows or cares who Coleman is?

You dumb f*ckin' Euros can't get over the fact that Lance has dominated Team Telekom the past two seasons. AND He's made Ullrich and Livingston look like stupid thus far this year.

Now, don't get me wrong, I realize the tour isn't over. Ullrich is a fantastic rider and has a real shot at all the marbles. More talented? How the f*ck do you know? Talent is oftem immesurable let alone defined.

One thing is clear though.

And Jan's reply to this is...Pogliaghi
Jul 18, 2001 5:01 PM
BBC Sport online

"Armstrong shows his class"

Ullrich, the 1997 champion, was distraught after being beaten by
Armstrong a second day running.

"Lance Armstrong once said that Jan Ullrich is, the greatest talent
in cycling. This doesn't seem to be the case," said the Team Telekom
rider, who trails Armstrong by three minutes and 34 seconds in the
overall standings.
The way I see it, Jan is the most talented.Canidraftyou
Jul 18, 2001 5:35 PM
The way I see it, Jan is the most talented. BUT! He is also the biggest under acheiver during the TDF, when it comes to fighting it out with lance. Thats what it is, a fight. Put two boxers in the ring, I dont care if one has fought 8 fights that year prior the Campionship bout, and the other has only fought 2 fights prior to the Championship bout. They both should want the title equal. The one who has trained harder, smarter and with more passion will prevail. I dont know who is going to win, who ever it is, is the TDF Champion. Lets see who wants it more.

Peace out,
it depends on how you define "talent"rodemiles
Jul 18, 2001 5:41 PM
If you put "focus" in the talent category, then there's no doubt: Lance is the man. This isn't a put down of Jan's intensity: the same comparison with anybody in the peloton would come out with Lance being more driven to win. Some people don't understand that just because someone is physically gifted, they just don't have the drive to be 100% committed to the sport. Lance is the exception: a physically superior athlete who's work ethic exceeds anyone else's in the sport. If you doubt it, just read the journals of his teammates.

And don't anyone claim he's not truly the best cyclist in the world because he only focuses on the TDF. Lance rides for an American team. The tour is the only event of the year that gets any attention over here at all. The days of someone being able to ride at the top level all season are gone. It's the era of specialized training for specific events. Lance peaks for the TDF because it's the event that gets more attention and coverage than all the other cycling events combined. You better believe any team that has a GC contender will make sure their year is planned around being at their peak for the tour.

Eddy Merckx was the greatest cyclist of all time, but even he would have to alter his training methods to compete for the yellow jersey in this era.
And Lance plays with Jan's brain once againDCP
Jul 18, 2001 5:57 PM
LA says that Ullrich is the most gifted rider and, again, smokes him, but this time only after giving him a nice long stare daring Ullrich to stay with him after appearing to struggle all day. Even were Jan physically capable of winning, he has, with considerable LA guidance, convinced himself that he can't. Not all of LA's talents are physical or level of commitment.
LA is a fluke.henryting
Jul 18, 2001 10:14 PM
Regardless of who have more talent, Lance is clearly a fluke. I don't care how talented in any sport, especially in pro cycling, which is the most gruesome, to be able to come back and compete in this level is nothing but fluke.
LA is a fluke = FREAKYahda-Yadah
Jul 19, 2001 3:53 AM
BULL SH**Dave Hickey
Jul 19, 2001 10:26 AM
Speaking as someone who has comeback from cancer, I can tell you Lance is not a fluke. Cancer does change your life and it's not always negative. I started cycling after I had cancer. Precancer, I was 50 pounds overweight and in terrible shape. I'm now at 145lbs(5'7") and ride 150 miles a week. Prior to cancer, I don't think Lance could have won the tour. He weighed 18 pounds more that today and he was larger in the upper body. Look at pictures of him pre-cancer and post-cancer. He is much better suited for the tour today than he was before 1997.
a fluke perhaps if you do it once.Tom C
Jul 22, 2001 9:57 PM
re: A question about Lance and Jan...SAcheson
Jul 19, 2001 7:18 AM
First, I would say that several conditions judge whether a rider is the most talented. I would agree that Ullrich and Armstrong are two of the most all around contenders in the sport today, and if you were in Lance's situation which one would you choose to flatter - yourself, or your strongest competitor? Politically, I think Lance giving Jan a couple of ego boosts is great p/r ...

Second, hasn't Jan finished either first or second in every Tour he has entered? (I could be wrong on my stats, and apologies if I am) That is a damn good accomplishment if you ask me ... and statistically, better than Armstrong.

Lastly, the season is long and difficult and few riders can be top form from February to October. I think Lance peaks well for mid-season, and Ullrich has traditionally done better late season (worlds, Olympics, Vuelta, etc). Just because Jan doesn't peak as well as Lance in July doesn't mean he is less talented.

Of course, as great of a rider as Ullrich is - it is so nice to watch Armstrong whoop his ass repeatedly in July ;-)
re: A question about Lance and Jan...J2AS
Jul 19, 2001 7:59 AM
Just a couple of comments. Second place is the first loser. I'm sure Jan would trade his second place finishes (3 of them by my count) for even 1 more win. 3 wins to 1 in the TdF- I doubt many riders would agree with you that Jan has better stats. Next, Jan has stated the TdF is his number one goal every year (as has LA). Part of being talented is to be able to peak at the right time. LA has proven he can peak anytime - early (spring classic winner), mid-year (TdF and Tour de Suisse), and finally late season (World Championship). That's talent! Look, I'm not out to slam Jan because I really think he's an awesome rider/person. I just think folks ought to question the "conventional wisdom" that Jan is MORE talented than LA. I'd even settle for equal - I'm just not willing to give the nod to Jan.
re: A question about Lance and Jan...NeedSpeed
Jul 19, 2001 8:36 AM
Obviously both Lance and Jan are talented riders, but Lance does have several things that set him apart not only from Ulrich, but from the rest of the peloton as well.

First of all, the guy has come back from advanced cancer treatments. That means that no matter how hard his inhuman tranining regimen gets and no matter how difficult the daily grind of the TdF gets, it is NOTHING compared to fighting for your very existence. Lance knows this and that enables him to push himself beyond the limits of his competitors as far as training and competition goes. Secondly, Lance is a freak of nature. Here is someone who was competing against grown men in triathalons at the age of 15 and winning! We are all born to excel in something. Lance excels in endurance sports. His VO2 Max numbers are ridiculous compared to the average ATHLETE, let alone the average man. He simply is blessed with genes allowing him to generate and distribute oxygen to his muscles more efficiently than any one of his competitors. In cycling, that gives him a HUGE advantage because he can work harder for a longer period of time at a more efficient rate than anyone else. That's a fact. I don't know if his experimental form of chemo gave him any lasting benefits from which he still reaps rewards (he was given EPO during his chemo recovery treatments), but he decided to undergo experimental, unproven treatments in order to SAVE his lungs and thus his career. So Armstrong is the best because he trains so hard, the actual race is easier by comparison.
Language is the problem.........Len J
Jul 19, 2001 9:03 AM
in this disagreement.

If you define talent as God given talent as opposed to demonstrated capability (or utilized talent) you might reevaluate your positions somewhat. I don't hear anyone taking anything away from Lance by saying that Jan has more (God given) talent than Lance. Just the opposite (IMHO) they are saying that Lance gets more out of the talent that he has.

I look at Jan, a guy who wins the TDF at 23, seems to have unlimited potential and then proceeds to seemingly sabotage his body every off season which makes him spend a good part of the next season just getting into form. I then look at Lance, whose entire focus is winning the TDF, who is working in the "Offseason" to improve on those things he can, and who than tailors his entire season on building for the TDF. (As an example, I read somewhere that Lance trained on the uphill Time trial course 6 different days prior to the Tour & that Jan had been on the course once.) Jan may say that his goal is the TDF, but it is clear that (if judged by actions) Lance's focus on that goel is sharper than Jan's. All that being said, and Jan still finishes second regulaly. Imagine what he could do with Lance's focus.

Another way to look at this is If Jan had his (god Given) talent and Lance's focus & work ethic and Lance had his (God given) talent with Jan's focus and work ethic, who would win. I think Jan hand's down. But this is just my oponion.

I think that the statement about Jan haveing the most talent comes from wondering just how good he could be if he had the focus & work ethic of a Lance.

It makes for great debate and even though I think Jan has more God given talent than Lance, I respect what Lance has done with his much more than I respect Jan.

Great Topic
Aha!!!!!!!!! That's the point! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 19, 2001 3:51 PM
Kind of like Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden. They were immensly talented and should have been a no brainer for the Hall of Fame, but they waisted their talents. Much more extreme that Jannie eating too much stroooooooodle in the off season, but hurting his career just the same. LA is dedicated to his sport, his life and his success. Jan needs to mature more and realize his talent won't last forever.
3 Tour wins?TJeanloz
Jul 19, 2001 9:14 AM
Last time I checked, Lance had 2 tour wins, Ullrich had 1 and 3 2nd places- I'd say advantage Ullrich so far. It may be a different story in 2 weeks.
3 Tour wins?J2AS
Jul 19, 2001 9:44 AM
Yea, you got me there. I guess I got a bit ahead of myself. Though, MO most racers would rather have even 2 wins than 1 and a rucksack full of 2nd places.
How would you like to be compared to Lance??Francis
Jul 19, 2001 11:29 AM
Wow, how can you win when your life is compared to Lance? Lance is re-writing the definition of Hero and Legend and I am happy to witness it.

Let's give Jan a break... talent, schmalent, superathletes need raw materials to build on. You then mix in work ethic, team, equipment, killer instinct. It's like a great beer!

I've gotten to like Jan. He's in shape and he's got the will. In this year's tour, the Jan grimace is inspiring. He also has not given up. He has hung on, gained or maintained time in the last few miles of Stage 10 and 11.

He's cursed with this 'talent' label. I say he's an amazing rider who would be #1 if Lance the Legend was not around.

Hear! Hear! nm.Groucho Marx
Jul 20, 2001 8:42 AM
It's a clever insultDog
Jul 19, 2001 3:19 PM
Lance's comment about Jan being more talented is really a clever insult. Don't we universally value hard work and suffering more than raw talent, or potential? Lance is saying, really, the idiot could beat me if he just worked hard, but I out work and out suffer him. I'm the better guy. He doesn't deserve to win, and I do. Nonetheless, it sounds as if Lance is being gracious. IMHO.

Gotta agree to a degree...Canidraftyou
Jul 19, 2001 3:36 PM
Head games is a large part of it. If LA feels he has an advange, by saying that, then you are for sure right. We may never know.

Peace out,
..or he is just sorrycyclopathic
Jul 19, 2001 8:06 PM
for such great talant being wasted.

Lance a surviver I'd think he is more grateful and gracious and he means it in pathetic way.
No doubt it is insult for Jan to hear but who knows maybe he's gonna grow up a man someday and not "cycle to live but live to cycle".
Cyclopathic...BLOW ME!!!Canidraftyou
Jul 20, 2001 12:01 PM

Oh yeah,

Peace out "NOT"
Classy (nm)mike mcmahon
Jul 20, 2001 12:54 PM