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But then he also said it was probably not that far off the form of other TdF contenders, though well below Basso's. With Armstrong gone, is Riis assuming the job of psyching Ullrich out? A different approach from LA, who constantly talked up Ullrich's talent and his fear of it. Or maybe Riis is trying to spur Ullrich into pushing himself too hard at the Giro. Anyway, views on what Riis is trying to accomplish here?

http://www.procycling.com/news.aspx?ID=2057
 

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It's all propaganda. Riis would be crazy to say Ullrich stands any chance at competing with Basso, CSC's top rider.
 

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Out of curiousity when has anyone ever said that Ullrich's spring form was any good? JU seems to able to whip himself into shape in less than a month anyway.
 

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"“It’s clear that he doesn’t like riding his bike, and for that reason I don’t understand why he wants to be a cyclist, it’s a waste of his talent,"

Definitely mind games. Riis is a smart man. It is unfortunate though he has to resort to this bullcrap.

I believe he is afraid of Ullrich. Jan is going to crush his Ivan, I have no doubt.

francois
 

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francois said:
"“It’s clear that he doesn’t like riding his bike, and for that reason I don’t understand why he wants to be a cyclist, it’s a waste of his talent,"

Definitely mind games. Riis is a smart man. It is unfortunate though he has to resort to this bullcrap.

I believe he is afraid of Ullrich. Jan is going to crush his Ivan, I have no doubt.

francois
Ivan will be the newest spawn of Zeus to climb Mt Olympus.........Jan will come in 2nd......again
 

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Why would Riis say anything about Ullrich either way? It seems very unprofessional to be talking smack about an ex-teammate and also someone who seems to be a pretty well-liked guy. If he thought Ullrich's condition was crap, why say so publicly? Just let his lack of legs in the Tour do the talking.
 

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svend said:
Ivan will be the newest spawn of Zeus to climb Mt Olympus.........Jan will come in 2nd......again
spawn of Zeus :eek:. I like that.

This is what Riis is worried about....

2005 TDF St. Etienne ITT
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 1.11.46 (46.4 km/h)
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.23
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.16
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.33
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.54

Basso is 1' 30 seconds down on Jan. There are two of these ITTs in 2006. Ivan is instantly down 3 minutes. And he is tired from the Giro. It is over before it even starts.

francois
 

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francois said:
spawn of Zeus :eek:. I like that.

This is what Riis is worried about....

2005 TDF St. Etienne ITT
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 1.11.46 (46.4 km/h)
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.23
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.16
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.33
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.54

Basso is 1' 30 seconds down on Jan. There are two of these ITTs in 2006. Ivan is instantly down 3 minutes. And he is tired from the Giro. It is over before it even starts.

francois
without looking it up I believe if you look at Basso's TT's he has gotten significantly better each year, I suspect the gaps will be narrower this year, Jan up by <2min......Basso will get that and more in the mountains tho you're right in that this years route favores the diesel....

Will be interesting, that's for sure......especially how the Giro plays out, that will be the wild card, how it affects Basso in the TdF........I wouldn't bet against him
 

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francois said:
spawn of Zeus :eek:. I like that.

This is what Riis is worried about....

2005 TDF St. Etienne ITT
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 1.11.46 (46.4 km/h)
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.23
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 1.16
4 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 1.33
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 1.54

Basso is 1' 30 seconds down on Jan. There are two of these ITTs in 2006. Ivan is instantly down 3 minutes. And he is tired from the Giro. It is over before it even starts.

francois

Basso's TT abilities are still improving and the bottom line anyway is that Ullrich has finished behind Basso on the GC for the last two years.
 

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Jan's "Bang on Schedule" for Le Tour

nwilkes said:
Out of curiousity when has anyone ever said that Ullrich's spring form was any good? JU seems to able to whip himself into shape in less than a month anyway.
from cyclingnews.com exactly one year ago today.
Ullrich "bang on schedule" for Le Tour

"T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich has finished his training sessions in Tuscany, Italy, and is back to racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Northern France as of today. The Tour de France winner of 1997 told German Radsportnews.com on the day before his season start, "My training has been very good, the weather in Tuscany being fine during the last few weeks. I'm feeling impatient now, and I look forward to racing again at the Circuit de la Sarthe just like in 2003. I trained four to six hours a day, sometimes climbing, sometimes pacing behind a motorcycle to get used to racing speeds of 50 km/h again," he said. "I took the right decisions, I think. The Vuelta a Murcia was too hard for me at the time, I was still sick. It was better to wait and start here. There were other possibilities, but I prefer to start slowly. Paris-Nice or Tirreno Adriatico didn't seem right to me," he continued.

Ullrich is not thinking about his season's goal, the Tour de France yet. "The only reason why I think of it now is because we're in the region of France now where the Tour starts. My preparation schedule is as follows: Vuelta a Aragon, Vuelta a Cataluña, Tour de Suisse. I will also reconnoitre the stages in the Alps and Pyrenees and stick a training week in Italy in there. The rest (of the training) I'll do at home."

here's some stories from earlier in the '05 spring

"Despite yesterday's atypical double-stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe, T-Mobile captain Jan Ullrich finished safely in the bunch in the morning's road stage, later finishing 13th in the afternoon time trial, the same position he now holds on the overall classification.

"It was fast out there again this morning, but I had no problem matching the pace," said Ullrich. "I knew before [the time trial result] there is still a little bit missing in the corners and at the end, but I am not dissatisfied."

Interestingly, Ullrich was using a new time trial bike with a special wheel that he has tested several times in past weeks, and although more aerodynamic, he was quoted by German publication Der Spiegel as saying: "It's fun to sit on this machine; the drop is bigger to be more aerodynamic, but it is become more stable."

Today's penultimate stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe is a 195.4 kilometre journey from Angers to Sablé-sur-Sarthe, before the race concludes tomorrow in Le Mans with another road stage. Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel from Cofidis is the current race leader."
 

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rocco said:
Basso's TT abilities are still improving and the bottom line anyway is that Ullrich has finished behind Basso on the GC for the last two years.
Maybe. Maybe not. If you look at it objectively though:

- there is no Team time trial this year. Basso got 30 seconds on Jan last year
- there are two looong ITTs. One or both will probably be flat. Basso will lose time on both.
- Basso doesn't have Lance to pull him up the hills and make time on Jan
- there are only three uphill finishes this year
- the Giro this year is very, very hard. Harder than the TDF!
- Jan is in form early and training with his team 100%
- gone is the idiot manager of T-mobile... Godefroot.

So there. My money's on Jan. Valverde will kick Basso's tail too.

francois
 

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Just stating the obvious

dawgcatching said:
Why would Riis say anything about Ullrich either way? It seems very unprofessional to be talking smack about an ex-teammate and also someone who seems to be a pretty well-liked guy. If he thought Ullrich's condition was crap, why say so publicly? Just let his lack of legs in the Tour do the talking.
Riis isn't the only one who has said that Ullrich's form is very poor.
Danish ex-pro Rolf Sorensen has also seen Ullrich during training in Tuscany, and claimed that he had never seen him more overweight than this year, and that he was riding poorly.

Furthermore has the German tabloids published pictures of "Der Jan" where he is extremely fat, so I think that Riis was just stating the obvious.

Riis is very fond of Ullrich and I think he is sad that a very talented guy throws his career away.

Cheers

Bjarne (Not that one)
 

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bjarne said:
Riis isn't the only one who has said that Ullrich's form is very poor.
Danish ex-pro Rolf Sorensen has also seen Ullrich during training in Tuscany, and claimed that he had never seen him more overweight than this year, and that he was riding poorly.

Furthermore has the German tabloids published pictures of "Der Jan" where he is extremely fat, so I think that Riis was just stating the obvious.

Riis is very fond of Ullrich and I think he is sad that a very talented guy throws his career away.

Cheers

Bjarne (Not that one)
Before buying into any of that I would need to see pics.All the pics I have seen of Jan this year he has been abnormally thin for this time of year and looked ripped.

Either way,I hope he destroys Basso in the TDF this year.
 

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Jan's form

I'd be more than a bit surprised if it's just a case of Bjarne playing mind games in a public/print forum. That doesn't seem his style. I've always thought he carried himself with
a good deal of class and led his team the same way.
I'd find it less surprising if indeed Jan were out of shape (although I hope not).
Catastrophic doen't sound like a word you would casually toss out there.
 

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A few factors to remember:

1. Basso is Italian and cares about winning the Giro more than the Tour, at least this year where ASO has nerfed all the climbs to keep the French riders closer in GC (which won't work anyways).

2. The Giro is super, super hard this year and Basso will be riding full gas the whole time fighting off itty bitty climbers.

3. Basso is better at TT's but not at Ullrich quality in long flat TT's.

4. Playing mind games on Ullrich is almost a sport now.
 

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francois said:
Maybe. Maybe not. If you look at it objectively though:

- there is no Team time trial this year. Basso got 30 seconds on Jan last year
- there are two looong ITTs. One or both will probably be flat. Basso will lose time on both.
- Basso doesn't have Lance to pull him up the hills and make time on Jan
- there are only three uphill finishes this year
- the Giro this year is very, very hard. Harder than the TDF!
- Jan is in form early and training with his team 100%
- gone is the idiot manager of T-mobile... Godefroot.

So there. My money's on Jan. Valverde will kick Basso's tail too.

francois

We'll see.
 

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Tomwd3 said:
I'd be more than a bit surprised if it's just a case of Bjarne playing mind games in a public/print forum. That doesn't seem his style. I've always thought he carried himself with
a good deal of class and led his team the same way.
I'd find it less surprising if indeed Jan were out of shape (although I hope not).
Catastrophic doen't sound like a word you would casually toss out there.

I agree, I wouldn't hope to find Ullrich out of shape either but Riis is a fairly understated and unassuming character from what I've seen.
 

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Lance's comments about Ullrich every year were mind games, but they were with himself rather than with Ullrich. He needed to create dangerous opponents in his mind to replace the lack of them in reality (like Michael Jordon did).

Riis may be playing mind games with Jan but it's still true. Ullrich rides his bike because it's his job and he shows all the passion for his job (and sub optimal results) that most people do in their jobs. That's both the attraction and the frustration for fans.
 

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Lance mind games

I agree with Terzo that it seemed like Lance used to invent snubs/rivalries to use as motivation. However, I doubt he's go so far as to publicly announce Jan's form as catastrophic. Too extreme, now you've given Jan the motivation that some say (not me) he lacked.
I'm really hoping it's not true because I do think that Jan is a classy rider of incredible talent whose primary misfortune has been to be pigeonholed as a failure based on wether or not he can defeat one guy in one race. Not fair in my opinion.
I'm just having a hard time believing Bjarne would say CATASTROPHIC if it wasn't true.
Bummer...:rolleyes:
 
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