Jan Ullrich

Jan Ullrich

Infobox Cyclist
ridername = Jan Ullrich

image_caption = Ullrich at the 2006 Giro d'Italia
fullname = Jan Ullrich
nickname = Ulle, Der Kaiser, Der Jan, Der Junge
dateofbirth = birth date and age |1973|12|2
height = convert|1.83|m|abbr=on
weight = convert|72|kg|abbr=on
country = GER
currentteam = Retired
discipline = Road
role = Rider
ridertype = All-rounder
amateuryears = 1987
amateurteams = SG Dynamo Rostock
SC Dynamo Berlin
SC Berlin
RG Hamburg
proyears = 1995–2002
proteams = Team Telekom
Team Coast
Team Bianchi
T-Mobile Team
majorwins =
Tour de France, 7 stages
Vuelta a España, 2 stages
Giro d'Italia, 1 stage
World Time Trial Champion (1999, 2001)
Olympic Road Race (2000)
Tour de Suisse (2004, 2006)
updated = August 1, 2008

Jan Ullrich (born December 2, 1973, in Rostock, East Germany) is a German former professional road bicycle racer. In 1997, he was first German to win the Tour de France. He went on to five second places, fourth in 2004 and in 2005. In 2006, Ullrich was barred from the Tour amid speculation of having doped. He retired in late February 2007.

Ullrich had great power with a soft, athletic style. But he often got out of shape during the off-season.

Ullrich won a gold and a silver in the Olympics 2000 in Sydney. He also won the 1999 Vuelta a España. Although not a one-day specialist, he won the HEW Cyclassics in front of a home crowd in Hamburg in 1997, and had podium finishes in the hilly classic Clásica de San Sebastián. His victorious ride in the 1997 Tour de France led to a bicycle boom in Germany.


Early training

Ullrich won his first bicycle race at 11. He was educated in the sports training system of the German Democratic Republic attending the KJS sports school in Berlin in 1986. In 1988, he was champion of the German Democratic Republic. The school closed two years after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. He, his trainer Peter Sager, and teammates joined an amateur club in Hamburg until 1994. In 1991, he was 5th in the amateur cyclo-cross world championships. [cite web| url=http://www.cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=3003 |title=Jan Ullrich coureur d'un jour |publisher=Cyclismag |accessdate=2007-04-05]

In 1993, at the Hamburg club, Ullrich won the world amateur road championship in Oslo. Lance Armstrong won the professional championship.

Early professional career

In 1994 with Becker as his agent, Ullrich turned professional for the Telekom team under Walter Godefroot. He finished third behind Chris Boardman in the world time trial championship in Sicily. [cite web| url=http://www.uci.ch/modello.asp?1stlevelid=HC&level1=5&level2=0&idnews=1639 |title=ELITE MEN TIME TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS |publisher=UCI |accessdate=2007-03-06]

Ullrich was inconspicuous in his first 18 months as a professional . In 1995 he became national time trial champion. He also achieved top ten placings on stages of the 1995 Tour de Suisse. At 21 he wanted to start the 1995 Tour de France but Godefroot thought it was early. Instead he went to the small German stage race, the Hofbrau Cup, where he ended 3rd. Ullrich started the Vuelta later that year only to abandon on stage 12.

1996 Tour de France

Ullrich gave up a place in the 1996 German Olympic team to ride his first Tour. He finished the prologue 33 seconds down. He stayed within the top 20 until the mountains on stage 7 when Miguel Indurain cracked. Ullrich finished 30 seconds back, 22 behind his teammate Bjarne Riis while Indurain finished four minutes down. On the following stage, he finished in the same group as Indurain 40 seconds behind Riis. On stage 9, Riis rode into the yellow jersey while Ullrich finished 44 seconds back and also into 5th place overall 1 minute 38 seconds from Riis.

Over the final mountains, Ullrich rode into second place behind Riis, but he conceded time on each mountain stage, eventually being nearly four minutes behind Riis. He won the final individual time trial and secured his first Tour stage win. He cut 2 minutes 18 seconds into Riis's lead . This led Indurain to comment that Ullrich would win the Tour some day, adding that it was a remarkable victory considering that Ullrich had been helping Riis. Ullrich dismissed suggestions he would have done better if he had not had to help Riis, saying Riis had inspired the team. [cite web| url=http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/archives/tour96/rep20.html |title=Stage 20 Reports |publisher=Cyclingnews |accessdate=2007-04-05] Jan finished his first tour in second place at 1 minute 41 seconds from his teammate Bjarne Riis.

1997 Tour de France

Ullrich had two wins before the 1997 Tour, ere a stage in the Tour de Suisse and the national Road Race championship a week before the tour. He became favorite in the 1997 Tour de France. He started strongly, finishing second in the prologue behind Chris Boardman. On stage 9, the first mountain stage which was won by Laurent Brochard, Ullrich worked for Riis. Only on the last ascentwhen Richard Virenque attacked did Ullrich react. Riis struggled to keep up and finished 30 seconds behind Virenque, Marco Pantani and Ullrich. On stage 10 from Luchon to Arcalis Andorra, with Riis again falling back, Ullrich dropped back to the teamcar to ask permission to attack. He returned to the lead group and pushed up the climb leaving Pantani and Virenque. He finished a minute ahead [cite web|url=http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/archives/tour97/stage10.html|title=Stage 10 Reports|publisher=Cyclingnews.com|accessdate=2007-08-29] which earned his first yellow jersey. "L'Équipe", greeted Ullrich with "Voilà le Patron" ("Here is the boss"). Ullrich won the Stage 12 time trial with three minutes between himself and the second placed rider, Virenque, who had started three minutes in front of him.

Marco Pantani attacked on the stage to the Alpe d'Huez. Ullrich, who was nine minutes ahead of Pantani overall, limited his losses to 47 seconds. [cite web|url=http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/archives/tour97/stage13.html|title=Stage 13 results and report|publisher=cyclingnews.com|accessdate=2007-08-29] Pantani attacked again on the Morzine stage and won, while Ullrich again limited his losses. In the final time trial, won by Abraham Olano, Ullrich extended his lead over Virenque and the following day became the first German to win. At 23, Ullrich was the fourth youngest winner of the Tour since 1947. Two weeks later, he won the Hews Cycling Classic in Hamburg. A further two weeks later Ullrich was beaten by Davide Rebellin in a sprint in the GP Suisse. He was chosen "sports person of the year" in Germany in 1997.

The eternal second; The 1998 Tour

Ullrich was defending champion in 1998. He took the yellow jersey on stage 7, a time trial, over 58km of undulating roads. But several stages later, Marco Pantani blew the Tour apart with a victory which began on the Galibier. Ullrich was without support when Pantani attacked. Pantani topped the Galibier alone. It was misty and the roads were wet. The descent was dangerous and Pantani increased his lead. By the bottom of the final climb, Les Deux Alpes, Pantani had nearly four minutes. Telekom brought Udo Bölts and then Riis to pace Ullrich. Pantani was race leader as he crossed the line he . Ullrich finished almost nine minutes back, dropping to fourth six minutes behind Pantani. [cite web| url=http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/1998/tour98/stage15.html |title=Stage 15 Brief |publisher=Cyclingnews |accessdate=2007-04-05]

Ullrich attacked on stage 16 on the Col de la Madeleine. Only Pantani could match him. Ullrich did all the work. Over the top, they started to work together. Ullrich won a photo-finish sprint and moved into third. He won the final stage, a 20km time trial, and moved into second.

The Tour of 1998 was haunted by doping affairs, giving it the nickname "Tour de Dopage".

In the following year during the inaugural Deutschland Tour, Ullrich fell after getting entangled with Udo Bölts during stage 3. He he had a knee injury and could not ride the 1999 Tour, which ended in the first of seven victories for Lance Armstrong. Ullrich set his targets on the world time trial championship in October by riding the Vuelta.

1999 Vuelta a España

On the first mountain stage, Ullrich narrowly won against the defending Vuelta a España champion Abraham Olano of Team ONCE in a group sprint that included Frank Vandenbroucke, Roberto Heras and Davide Rebellin. Olano took the leader's golden jersey with Ullrich second. Olano won the following stage, a time trial, with almost one minute over Ullrich and increased his lead in stage 8. On stage 11, Ullrich gained 30 seconds back on Olano. Ullrich took the lead on stage 12 won by Igor González de Galdeano, Olano cracked and finished seven minutes behind Ullrich. González had moved into second overall and became a threat to Ullrich. On stage 18 Banesto and other Spanish teams tried to crack Ullrich, who struggled on the final climb but recovered to limit his losses to González. In the final time trial, Ullrich won by almost three minutes and built his overall lead to four minutes on González. Ullrich won his second major Tour. Several weeks later he became world time trial champion over Sweden's Michael Andersson and Briton Chris Boardman.

The eternal second behind Lance Armstrong

The 2000 Tour de France brought Ullrich, Marco Pantani and Armstrong against each other for the first time. Armstrong proved too strong and won then and again in 2001. Ullrich crashed in 2001 and Armstrong waited for him to return to his bike. Ullrich cited his failure to defeat Armstrong as why he fell into depression next year.

Ullrich rode well in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. After establishing a three-man break with Telekom teammates Andreas Klöden and Alexandre Vinokourov, Ullrich won the gold with Vinokourov second and Klöden rounding out the all-Telekom podium. He won the silver in the time-trial, losing by a small margin to Viatcheslav Ekimov but beating Armstrong into third.

In May 2002, Ullrich had his driver's license revoked after a drunk driving incident. [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/index.php?id=2002/may02/may06news "Ullrich's blood alcohol level more than 1.4 g/L" Cycling News, 2002] ] After a positive blood sample for amphetamine in June 2002, [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/?id=2002/jul02/jul04news2 "Ullrich tests non-negative for amphetamines" Cycling News, 2002] ] Ullrich's contract with Team Telekom was ended, and he was banned for six months. He said he had taken ecstasy with amphetamine. [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/?id=2002/jul02/jul06news2 'Ullrich foregoes B test: "It was a stupidity"' Cycling News, 2002] ] He had not been racing since January due to a knee injury [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/?id=2002/may02/may08news "Ullrich concedes in Battle of Jan's Knee" Cycling News, 2002] ] , and the German Cycling Federation's disciplinary committee agreed that he was not attempting to use the drug for performance enhancement, so he was given a minimum suspension. [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/?id=2002/jul02/jul24news "Ullrich given six months suspension" Cycling News, 2002] ]

In January 2003, Ullrich and his advisor Rudy Pevenage joined Team Coast, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/2648577.stm "Ullrich moves to Coast" BBC Sport, 2003] ] but Coast pulled out after financial problems and Team Bianchi replaced it. Ullrich returned to racing in March 2003 .

The 2003 Tour de France was the first for many years that Ullrich had not been considered a favorite. In the first week, Ullrich became sick and almost retired. He lost a minute and a half on Armstrong in the Alps. Ullrich fought back in the time trial. Armstrong had trouble with the heat and lost one and a half minutes to Ullrich. Ullrich was within a minute of Armstrong in the classification. The next day, he closed the gap by another 19 seconds in the first mountain stage. Two days later Ullrich rode away from Armstrong on the Tourmalet but Armstrong caught up. Half way into the climb, Armstrong's handlebar got caught in a spectator's bag and he fell. Ullrich waited. Armstrong caught the group and attacked shortly afterwards.

Ullrich lost 40 seconds in the final kilometers, but the final time trial would be decisive. In it, Ullrich crashed and saw a stage and Tour victory disappear. He ended second by 61 seconds.

Germany made Ullrich sportsman of the year.

For 2004 Ullrich returned to Team Telekom, now named T-Mobile. He won the Tour de Suisse. In the Tour de France, he finished fourth, 8:50 behind Armstrong, his first finish lower than second. Klöden finished second and Ivan Basso third.

For 2005, Ullrich again captained T-Mobile. He maintained a low profile for the early season, surfacing in the 2005 Tour de Suisse, which he finished third behind Aitor González and Michael Rogers.

The day before the 2005 Tour de France, Ullrich was training when his team car stopped unexpectedly. Ullrich hit the back window, ending up in the back seat of the car. Less than 24 hours later Ullrich was passed by Armstrong in the time trial. Ullrich fell again in the mountains, bruising his ribs. He could not keep up with Armstrong or Ivan Basso. Ullrich began focusing on finishing ahead of Michael Rasmussen for a podium position. He rode a good second time trial, beating all but Armstrong. Rasmussen had several crashes and bike changes, which gave Ullrich a podium place in the Tour.


Armstrong retired after the Tour in 2005. Ullrich decided to ride one or two more years [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/jun06/jun05news2 Ullrich said he would ride for one or two more years] .] . Early reports said Ullrich was in better shape than previous years and could be ready for his second victory in the Tour. Ullrich finished 115th in the Tour de Romandie on April 30. However, he injured his knee in the off- season, which could have limited his performance in the 2006 Tour, had he participated (see below).

In May, riding the Giro d'Italia to prepare for the Tour, Ullrich targeted the stage 11 50km time trial, and won by 28 seconds over Maglia Rosa Ivan Basso, who beat Marco Pinotti by another 33 seconds. Only five riders finished within two minutes of Ullrich.

Ullrich dropped out of the Giro during stage 19, with back pain. Rudy Pevenage said the problem was not bad but that Ullrich wanted to avoid Tour de France problems.

Ullrich won the Tour de Suisse for a second time, winning the final time trial and jumping from third to first .

Operación Puerto doping case

Ullrich was mentioned in the weeks before the 2006 Tour de France in a Spanish doping scandal, Operación Puerto. Ullrich denied the rumors. However on 30 June 2006, one day before Tour, he was suspended from participating. [ [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2003152284_peep26.html "People in Sports: Jan Ullrich looking for new team" Seattle Times, 2006] ] Ivan Basso and other riders were also excluded. Ullrich that he has nothing to do with Fuentes.

On 20 July 2006, Ullrich was fired from T-Mobile. General manager Olaf Ludwig announced the news during the 18th stage of the Tour between Morzine and Macon. Ullrich said his dismissal was 'unacceptable.'

:I am very disappointed that this decision was not communicated to me personally but that it was faxed to my lawyers. I find it shameful that, after so many years of good cooperation and after all I have done for the team, I am being treated as a fax number.

On 3 August 2006, doping expert Werner Franke claimed Ullrich purchased about 35,000 worth of doping products a year based on documents uncovered in the Operación Puerto doping case. [cite web|url=http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/03082006/3/ullrich-spent-35-000-euros-year-drugs-claims-expert.html|title=Ullrich 'spent 35,000 euros' in a year on drugs claims expert|date=2006-08-03|accessdate=2007-07-30] A German court imposed a gag order on Franke after it found there was not enough evidence to link Ullrich to doping. [cite web|url=http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=sports&id=5528190|title=Expert: Docs show Tour winner Contador doped|date=2007-07-31|accessdate=2007-07-31] On 14 September 2006, officials raided Ullrich's house and collected DNA material while Ullrich was honeymooning with his new wife Sara. On 4 April 2007, Ullrich's DNA sample, had "without a doubt" matched nine bags of blood taken from Eufemiano Fuentes' office. [cite news| url = http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/apr07/apr04news | title = Puerto blood confirmed to be Ullrich's | first = Hedwig | last = Kröner | work = column | publisher = Cycling News | date = 2007-04-04 | accessdate = 2007-07-09]

On 18 October 2006, Ullrich laid off his personal physiotherapist Birgit Krohme. Speculation rose that this was a sign that Ullrich had given up hope of returning to racing. Ullrich denied these rumors. On 25 October 2006, a document from the Spanish court on Ullrich's website stated that no charges would be filed.

On Monday, 26 February, 2007, Ullrich retired. At the press conference in Hamburg he said, "Today, I'm ending my career as a professional cyclist. I never once cheated as a cyclist." He said he would be an advisor to Team Volksbank.

Ullrich bicycles

In May 2006 Ullrich launched Jan Ullrich Collection bicycles [ [http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/?id=2006/features/ullrich_bikes Signature bike frame launch.] ] , which he helped to develop. The three models take their names from Ullrich's career.


Ullrich lived in Merdingen, Germany, from 1994 to 2002 with his partner Gaby Weiss, with whom he had a daughter, Sarah Maria, on 1 July, 2003. They moved to Scherzingen, Switzerland, in 2002. Since separating in 2005, said to be because Weiss's reluctance to be in the limelight conflicted with Ullrich's celebrity life, Ullrich has continued to live in Scherzingen. Weiss returned with Sarah to Merdingen. In September 2006 Ullrich married Sara Steinhauser, sister of his former teammate and training partner, Tobias Steinhauser. Their first child, Max, was born five weeks prematurely on 7 August 2007.


*"I have seen many lean riders in the peloton, but very few Tour winners", in response to criticism about his weight.
*"My motivation doesn't come from rivals, but because I love cycling. That's what motivates me…. I don't get my motivation by putting the picture of my rival on the mirror"
* "Totally fucked up", replying to a journalist who asked him how he felt after winning stage 12 of the 2003 Tour de France.


;1993:flagiconUCI Amateur World Road Race Cycling Champion;1995:GER National Time Trial Champion;1996:Tour de France:: 2nd place overall:: Winner white jersey:: Winner stage 20:Regio Tour;1997:Tour de France:: Winner yellow jersey:: Winner white jersey:: Winner stages 10 and 12:GER National Road Race Champion:Luk Cup, à Bühl:HEW Cyclassics;1998:Tour de France:: 2nd place overall:: Winner white jersey:: Winner stages 7, 16 and 20:Rund um Berlin:Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt;1999:flagiconUCI World Time Trial Cycling Champion:;2000:Summer Olympics Road Race Champion:Tour de France: 2nd place:Coppa Agostoni;2001:flagiconUCI World Time Trial Cycling Champion:GER National Road Race Champion:Tour de France: 2nd place:Giro dell'Emilia:Versatel Classic;2003:Tour de France:: 2nd place:: Winner stage 12:Rund um Köln (Tour of Cologne);2004:Tour de France: 4th place:Tour de Suisse: winner:Coppa Sabatini;2005:Tour de France: 3rd place;2006:Tour de Suisse: winner

ee also

* List of doping cases in cycling
*List of sportspeople sanctioned for doping offences


External links

* [http://www.janullrich.de Official Homepage]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1426279/ Jan Ullrich] at the Internet Movie Database

NAME= Ullrich, Jan
SHORT DESCRIPTION=German professional road bicycle racer
DATE OF BIRTH= December 2, 1973
PLACE OF BIRTH=Rostock, Germany

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