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Herr Doctor Ullrich.(14 posts)

Herr Doctor Ullrich.Velojon
Jul 10, 2003 12:49 AM
I think Jan might have spent his suspension taking up psychology studies at the University of Berlin. Although one cannot take anything away from the USPS blue train yesterday, I think the other big winner was Jan. From all reports, he pulled a Hincapie yesterday by doing the lion's share of the pulling. I've seen some of the close-up stills of him and he looks absolutely ripped this year. I have a feeling that after years of hearing LA and others talk about how Ullrich was the most talented rider in the peloton, and then losing the TDF year after year, he decided to change psychological tactics. He was recently quoted as saying he was not in shape to win the Tour this year, but after seeing him in the prologue and TTT I've got to respectfully disagree. LA has his hands full now, but not at the expense of some of the more vocal, self-promoting riders like Simoni. Instead he needs to ride his heart out to avoid being the recipient of the "stare" this year. Go LA, go JU -- give us a whale of a show!!!
While...Dwayne Barry
Jul 10, 2003 4:47 AM
Ullrich has lost the tour "year after year", he by all rights he should already have 3 tour victories. He has been the strongest rider in the tour 3 times. His first tour (what was he 22, 23?) he rode as a domestique for Riis and was clearly stronger than him but unable to do anything about it and finished second to him. His second tour he again was riding as a domestique for Riis, until Riis cracked and Ullrich took over team leadership and won it. His third tour, but for a cold, miserable day, an untimely puncture coupled with his poor descending ability he would have beat Pantani. I think that's why everyone thinks he's so talented. By all rights he should have had three tour victories by his mid-20's. Not to mention all the other races he's won.
No matter how you slice it,OldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 5:24 AM
the Tour has already shaken out to a Lance-Jan duel. Who'd have thought it, this soon? It should be glorious.
Well, you can't discount...Dwayne Barry
Jul 10, 2003 5:33 AM
Beloki yet!
My big fear is that Armstrong completely blows them away on Sunday up to Alp d'Huez and it becomes boring.

I wonder how Simoni is going to play it? Lose time on Saturday to give himself freedom for a shot at Alpe D'Huez on Sunday, sit (if able) with Armstrong on Saturday and wait for D'Huez. Or attack on the climbs/descents on Saturday and take the race to Armstrong.
I agree. My biggest fear as well... (nm)James OCLV
Jul 10, 2003 5:42 AM
I kinda do discount Beloki, althoughOldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 5:49 AM
of course you're theoretically right. I just don't think he's ever shown the stomach for a true mano a mano with Lance. He's a cut below in talent and five cuts below in competetive savagery.

My vote is, Simoni will try to make a statement on AdH. I sure hope so. Let's see if he's really as good as his mouth. I have my doubts.
Simoni...Dwayne Barry
Jul 10, 2003 5:56 AM
has always shown he's got balls in the past. If you look at the profile on Saturday it suits his abilities. There's a big penultimate climb, then there's a descent, shorter climb and then another descent and the run-in to the finish. Even if he can't shake Armstrong, there's lots of others he's got time to make up on if he wants to be on the podium. I think he must attack on the Col de Ramaz on Saturday, can't afford to bide his time to Alpe d'Huez on Sunday.
All true. Guess my point is, THE statementOldEdScott
Jul 10, 2003 6:09 AM
of this year's Tour is going to me made on AdH, and given his ego, Simoni will of course plan to be there when the heads of state rendezvous. I guess the question is, how do the sensible long-view 'podium tactics' you outline for Saturday mesh with the claim Simoni's ego will make for AdH?
we will see itcyclopathic
Jul 10, 2003 6:28 AM
I agree with DB Simoni will attack on Sat and on Sun too and I won't be surprized to see him mix with breaks.
Not in breaks, we won'tt-bill
Jul 10, 2003 12:15 PM
The peloton, or at least part of it - USPS, ONCE, and Bianchi - will not let Simoni get away in a break.
Do you think it will come down to whose team is the strongest?MXL02
Jul 10, 2003 5:34 AM
and will this give Lance the ultimate edge? It sure seemed that way yesterday.
Of course, the team was critical yesterday...Dwayne Barry
Jul 10, 2003 5:49 AM
it was a TTT, afterall!
Really for now only USPS has to be strong to control the race in the mountains. If Armstrong were to get beat handedly on Saturday or Sunday things could change, but how likely is that?

What is important for the other GC guys now is not necessarily a strong team but one or two strong teammates who can be with them in the mountains, especially on the days with downhill/flat finishes when tactics could come into play on the run-in to the finish.

This could all change if the race somehow got blown apart in the mountains early one day. But past years Postal has consistenly kept it together until the final climb of the day, so all you have to do is be able to follow them.
Couldn't agree more...James OCLV
Jul 10, 2003 5:41 AM
I definately think that Jan, despite what he says about himself, is in awesome shape and capable of winning. The reason that everyone, including LA, thinks he is so talented is because in the past he was able to take such a haphazard aproach to training and still place 2nd in a race like the the Tour. If Ullrich trained with the focus and determination of LA, I think that he would dominate in a way that hasn't been seen since the days of Merckx. In the past, he's been like a diamond in the rough. Maybe this year he's polished the diamond a little... Either way, I think that we're all in for a very good show! We've never had the opportunity to see Lance really battle for a Tour victory - hopefully this year we will!
Couldn't agree more...Jon Billheimer
Jul 10, 2003 7:42 AM
Carmichael, Merckx, and Indurain have all said that if he trained with the same focus and discipline that Armstrong does that Ulrich could very well beat him. It remains to be seen if Jan has enough racing days in his legs to match Lance all the way through the Tour. But I think at long last we're going to be treated to a battle royal.

I think Simoni may have a good stage or two in him but there's no way with a 3 min. deficit he's going to overtake either Lance or Ulrich.