"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Ullrich is prforming good
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04-17-03, 04:42 AM
Jan Ullrich, now an official member of Coast, is doing an excellent job in his comeback after a 14 month period of abstinence.
On the first stage of the Vuelta d´Aragon in Spain he finished the mountain stage up the Celder just one and a half minute behind stage winner Piepoli.
Pevenage said, he didn´t see such a strong Ullrich for years (regarding this time in the season).
So, it is possible that Jan can challange Armstrong in this years´ TDF ???
04-17-03, 07:49 AM
I doubt it, how strong of a team does Coast have? Will they be able to support Ullrich properly through the tour? Will they be able to get him up through the mountains? Is Ullrich strong enough to post top results for a week in the mountains and on top of that a few time trials? Will his team be fast enough to take the team time trial to the Postal/Once guys?
If you look at the Postal team, they have guys on the team that other teams would kill to have as their top rider. It's almost like watching that one year of the Olympics when the US brought out the "Dream Team" for basketball. They make it look to easy.
Now that's not to say it's not possible, we've seen riders in the past win the tour with minimal/no help from their team against big odds. But I just don't have that impression of Ullrich from what I've read about him, he doesn't have that last little bit of drive/determination to get the job done.
I agree with Ajay, Ullrich may be looking strong and be able to give a good performance in the Tour, but his team is not near what Postal has.
Postal could have a bad couple days, but even if that happens I think Beloki might have a better chance since Once usually makes a strong showing.
Ullrich needs to forget the Tour and take it easy this year and work on taking care of his inner problems.
The Tour proved far too much psycologically to him. Best to stick to all other events and the Vuelta later in the year.
According to Velonews interview with
Angel Casero Jan is still having problems with
VN: How is going with Ullrich with the team so far?
AC: So far, so good. He came with the team during the training camp in January. He's very relaxed; a good person. He still has little problems with his knee, but we hope he can arrive at the Tour in great form. I believe that we, as two, are better than one."
So for me I'll defer until later in the season to say
how Jan is performing.
It sounds like he's actually doing pretty well, but I doubt that even Jan thinks he'll win the tour this year even if he does do the tour. One thing for sure, he doesn't look fat or out of shape. In all the photos I've seen he looks better than he has in years. He's doing these races for training, but he seems to be on the right track.
As for team coast, they actually have a team better suited for mountains than telekom did, although now they have Cadel Evans and Botero. WHen ullrich was on telekom, they didn't really have climbers like that, although Vinokurov and Bolts are strong climbers. Mind you, now coast has lost Zulle and Escartin, both great climbers.
04-19-03, 05:44 PM
When Ullrich was a top rider in the tour and elsewhere he had the Telekom team behind him. Coast is not even in the same league as Telekom was a couple of years ago. Coast is good for smaller stage and/or one day races. With their financial woes and lost riders I would'nt be suprised if they drop out of the "top club" classification at years end.
04-19-03, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by georgesnatcher
With their financial woes and lost riders I would'nt be suprised if they drop out of the "top club" classification at years end.
Agreed. Both Coast and Cofidis seem to be poorly run organizations that may find themselves dropping in classification. With Coast it's the money, with Cofidis it's a bad racing plan that fails to protect riders.
I agree, I think coast will implode after the Tour. It's a shame, they had things going well for a while- last season, with Alex Zulle doing really well and some good classics riders like Hoj. But now they seem headed for trouble, Zulle and Escartin gone, Hoj gone and money problems galore. Cofidis is a mess too, now the belgians are unhappy and want out.
04-20-03, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by georgesnatcher
Coast is not even in the same league as Telekom was a couple of years ago.
Heck, Telekom is not in the same league as Telekom was two seasons ago. Never mind Jan... the team just doesn't seem to have done much this year (well, ok, there is the Amstel). Zabel seems to repeatly be their hot prospect, but it seems he's got bridesmaiditus. At least they appear solid enough financially, to focus on building, so they might have something in a year or two, as opposed to grappling for crumbs, and racing hand-to-mouth.
Frankly, I thought Coast might put something together this year, even before (especially before!) the addition of Ullrich. So now Jan is the team captain for a bunch of demoralized, unpaid or underpaid riders, who consequently probably resent the h*ll out of his presence. He'll have to generate some serious excitement for this team, if they're to have any future. And it may even be too late for that.
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