June 28, 2004
Ullrich: Armstrong bluffed on Ventoux
Jan Ullrich says he's prepared for the Tour, starting Saturday, and expects Lance Armstrong to be in even better form than he showed in the Dauphiné Libéré.
"I'm convinced that Lance bluffed on the Mont Ventoux," Ullrich said at a press conference announcing the T-Mobile Tour roster. "Believe me, he's a lot better prepared than he lets on. And [Johan] Bruyneel's comments about his form not being as good don't convince me either. That's Lance's style, to try to fool his rivals."
Ullrich said the T-Mobile team had initially had a very aggressive plan for the Tour, but had changed course with the injury to Alexandre Vinokourov.
"[T]hat doesn't mean I'll now adopt a more defensive plan. On the contrary, I'll try to take time from Lance every time I have the chance."
The same cyclingnews.com roundup suggests that Cadel Evans will be on a new squad next year, after being passed over for the T-Mobile Tour squad. Director Walter Godefroot claims he made the decision because Evans broke his collarbone three times last year:
"He would of course be very important to us had we selected him, but we are protecting Cadel by not including him in our line up for the Tour ... The first week of the Tour is going to be very hectic, therefore, the risk is too great that Cadel might crash and be forced out of the Tour through injury," Godefroot explained.
The former mountain biker won the Tour of Austria, and felt he was ready to make a splash in the Tour. His contract is up at the end of the season.
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Heh heh. I think Jan is right. It's psychological warfare out there!
Posted by: lancefan at Jun 28, 2004 11:17:33 AM
If I were Ullrich, I wouldn't be giving Lance more motivation by saying things like "he fools his rivals"...how were you fooled in 2001 when all you had to do was keep up with him on the Ventoux? Did Lance "fool" you into the ill advised Col de Tourmalet attack last year? Lance gives Ullrich all due respect in the press, when he could say things like: "You know, there's nothing more sad than massive talent unfulfilled." And he'd be exactly correct.
Posted by: Jason O. at Jun 29, 2004 9:43:37 AM