Jan back home and raring to go

Jan Ullrich is back in Europe after extending his training stay in South Africa and for once he is a

Jan Ullrich is back in Europe after extending his training stay in South Africa and for once he is a
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Jan Ullrich returned home from his training stint in South Africa on New Year's Eve with 2,500 kilometres under his belt and even more committed to his long-term goal of being the rider who unseats Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France. In an interview with German mass circulation paper Bild Zeitung after his return a seemingly relaxed Ullrich said he didn't know what he weighed and would be happy to back any of his team-mates at the Tour if he thought they had a better chance of winning the race than him. Bild has been particularly critical of Ullrich's weight problems in the past, and they were straight on the offensive again asking the T-Mobile team leader if he was full after the evening meal he had just finished. A laughing Ullrich replied: "I know what your are hinting at. Actually, I didn't eat much, but I ate well. Quality over quantity!" Pushed to reveal his current weight, Ullrich countered: "I dunno. I didn't bring the scales with me. In fact, I haven't weighed myself for weeks. I don't spend a lot of time reflecting on what I eat. I just get on with training and eating." Ullrich extended his stay in South Africa because both his wife and daughter were ill back at home in Germany and he said he was susceptible to picking up their cold-like symptoms. That meant more kilometres of training with team-mate Andreas Kloeden in the much appreciated heat of the South African summer. Asked if he was worried by the prospect of not having beaten Armstrong at the Tour, Ullrich responded: "That won't bother me later. But right now I, like many other riders, want to be the one who unseats him!" He also admitted that he would back Kloeden or Alexandre Vinokourov if they were better placed than him at the Tour, saying: "The best rider will be supported. I have no problem with this policy. I already showed that this year. But I know that when I avoid health setbacks, then I can be the strongest."
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top