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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wonering what people's thoughts are?
 

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I think it is a sad way for a big star to end his career.

Sure I think he doped (I think they all do) but he was treated quite poorly by his sport and all the folks he earned a lot of money for.
 

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I'm with MB1

I think that the sport and especially the German press treated him pretty poorly. Yas, yas, he made some $$, but he's got a fragile head. They messed with it.

I like Jan, like I like VDB. They've got massive talent, but a fairly fragile psyche. I really appreaciate athletes that put themselves out there, on a huge stage, on the sporting stage knowing that they're not psychologically well-equipped to put up with the ups and downs of the sport. In my own life, I can personally relate to that.

I hope that Jan is happy. I also hope in his new position with his new cycling team (as advisor) that he can be a good teacher.

BT
 

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wow I am always amazed at the candidness with which many of you can't see past your personal feelings regarding others


Jan was great for the sport and fun to watch. Just like Cipo and Jaja they have their style and made the peloton colorful with personality. Jan was no drama queen. He got beat and MB1 nailed it because this is a sad way to end it. Hard to see it not being an admission of guilt but if he has as much money as he has been paid, then riding a bike to stay in shape isn't all that hard. He could have played the PR game better too

I think it sucks and Jan was no one trick poney nor is Lance - try not to think in such a linear method
 

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I think it's sad that he was seen as the worst thing that happened to cycling (especially german cycling) while Basso is riding like nothing happened... I was hoping today's press conference was to annouce he signed to ride with a new team.
 

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Misplaced priorities?
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Jan was my favorite rider. Compared to other riders, he seemed more like a human being and less like a robot. I don't know him, but he sounds like the kind of guy I'd want to sit around and have a beer or 10 with. I could also relate to his mashing style. He took a lot of crap from the press but never retaliated like many high profile athletes do.
 

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Whenever I think of Jan Ullrich (and Lance Armstrong) I think of a comment that Bing Crosby once made about Frank Sinatra. " A voice like that only comes along once in a generation," Crosby said of Sinatra, "unfortunately, it had to be mine."
 

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Not surprised...mixed feelings for me....

The trajectory or Jan's career spanned my personal "serious" re-entry into road cycling again in the mid 90's (I started working as a shop rat, began riding regularily again as well as following pro cycling.) Early on I was a dedicated fan of cycling in general and Jan in particular. I remember watching with excitement, on the edge of my seat, when he cracked against Pantani in the '98 Tour. But gradually my enthusiasm for pro racing began to wane with the Festina affair, with my reading of Paul Kimmage's book and Willy Voet's Breaking the Chain, etc, etc.... The continual "piling on" of more and more doping scandals, rider busts, etc, has left me pretty jaded and somewhat ambivalent towards cycle racing.
So it was interesting to read of Jan's retirement at Cyclingnews.com. Caused me to reflect on my "relationship" with pro cycling as a fan...former fan? I'm cynical enough to believe that there are good reasons for Jan's decision beyond what is being publicly expressed by him. Was he treated unfairly? Who knows? Seems like it's all part of the high stakes game they are all playing. Remain silent. And if/when you are caught, keep your mouth shut and swallow the bitter medicine.
Jan was a big engine and always seemed like a classy guy. He was also all to "human" and his many trip-ups revealed that to the world. Did he dope? Probably. Do they all? I'm of the opinion that most do to some level or another. So did he ever "cheat"? I guess it depends on your perspective. The slippery slopes of ethics in sports in this day and age of big money and advanced pharmacuticals is causing a lot of foggy weather to descend....
 

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I also think its a sad way to go. He was my favourite rider over the last three years or so... a sportsman, a gentleman, and not a whiner. I had really been looking forward to seeing him in the 06 TdeF, or even in the 07.

I wish him well.
 

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huh

Bertrand said:
I also think its a sad way to go. He was my favourite rider over the last three years or so... a sportsman, a gentleman, and not a whiner. I had really been looking forward to seeing him in the 06 TdeF, or even in the 07.

I wish him well.
I will miss Jan, however, while he did not whine, he did post some of the more humorous excuses for poor performances....

He was a class act as far as accomplishments, he won a TDF, A vuelta, got gold in the olympics and oh yeah was a TTY world champ.

BUT, as far as the mentality of a rider, Der Jan was a train wreck......

.
 

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agree with most of the positive comments above... enjoyed watching him race and seeing his human side on and off the bike (as reported by the press). i don't think his retirement as a professional rider is tantamount to a confession of guilt though, and i don't blame him for being sick of the whole "guilty before proven innocent" philosophy seemingly adopted by the cycling authorities. sure, they're probably all dopers but that doesn't mean they deserve to be crucified in the press and in such public arenas, especially when some (like basso) are treated one way and others are "forced" to retire.

all in all, i think the peloton will be one colorful and talented rider short from here on out, and i wish him luck and happiness in his new venture.
 

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I'm sad to see Jan go, and I think it's unfair that Jan essentially blackballed out of the sport while most of the other implicated are racing again or soon will be. Germany really threw Jan under the bus.

I think Jan had one of the best engines of his generation. Best TTer since Indurain.
 

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pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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He is a great rider....

....but was he as good as he could have been? I just always thought he could have trained harder and (seems everyone thought he gained too much weight in the offseason) and then would have had the results to get people on board with him. Whether he gave up because the mental game played against him or whether he just didn't feel he had the support to beat Lance he just always seemed content to be in the race but not race. 2005 season had Vino attacking and T-Moble pulling him back and yet they never paced Jan.

I would have loved to see him really put the pressure on Lance and USPS or Discovery.

Just odd. :idea:

my $.02
 

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my thoughts exactly

MB1 said:
I think it is a sad way for a big star to end his career.

Sure I think he doped (I think they all do) but he was treated quite poorly by his sport and all the folks he earned a lot of money for.
my thoughts exactly.

not letting him start the last tour de france must have broke his heart. i remembered he whup butt at a time trial prior to the tour. the tour would have been awesome if he and basso were in it [assuming that they both didn't dope].
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since I started the post, I guess I should give my 2 cents

I look at it this way. Every sport has it's number one athlete, ala, Lance 7 tours in a row. But, yes, he was a one trick pony. Jan never showed me any guts or desire. If the school bully kicked my a$$ everyday for my lunch money, I would at the very least walk up to him one day and maybe kick him in the knee, punch him or whatever and ask for his money. I probably would then get my a$$ beat worse, but at least I would prove myself and stand up for myself.

It seemed like early on, Jan would at least try and be somewhat aggressive against Lance. But then it seemed like for the final few tours that he was ok with being second and was alway lurking in the final selection group on the big climbs but he never wanted to attack or try to make it tough for Armstrong. Valverde, Vino, Basso, Hamilton and Pantani all showed "drive" to try to at least beat Lance for the day. In the long run LA would still win, but tey made him earn it. 2003 was great to watch how all the different riders almost worked together to beat him and they still couldn't.

I would have thought that in LA's final tour, Jan would have tried to at least get away once and pull a stage, or pull a Vino. Vino trys and trys to get away and sometimes he succeeds, but why show up to only ride wheels and be content on second.

Levi always seemed like a lurker too. He is always int he final group, but nver really shows the balls to want to win, rather just stay in the select group of 5 or 6, wait for Basso, Valverde or Vino to attack and then worry about 4th or 5th and let s few go away. He really didn't show me much in TOC and it is obviuso what his role will be in this year's Tour.

I guess what I am saying is Jan won't be missed in my book.
 
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