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April 18, 2006

Der Kaiser? More like der Kaiser Roll ...

procycling | Riis: ‘Ullrich's form is catastrophic’

The cycling web is buzzing over Bjarne Riis' interview with Danish daily BT (in Danish). Ivan Basso “crossed paths” with Ullrich while both were training in Tuscany, and Riis has heard that Ullrich looks more like Hugo from “Lost” than the 1997 Tour de France winner.

Riis said Ullrich's state is “absolutely catastrophic”:

“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,” Riis stated. “He needs to wise up right away. My belief in him is dwindling.”

Riis rated Ullrich's form as near that of his expected Tour rivals, but well below Basso's fitness level.

Of course, every year, Ullrich is reported to look like the Michelin Man during his preseason training, and almost every year, he winds up on the Tour podium.

Truth or trash talk? We'll start finding out a week from today, when Ullrich kicks off his season in the Tour of Romandy.

Posted by Frank Steele on April 18, 2006 in Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Top Stories | Permalink


Let the mental games begin!

Riis is trying to get into Ulle's head as he will be Basso's main competition.

Like you said, no matter what people say or how little Jan races before le Tour, he's always a contender.

Posted by: tony at Apr 19, 2006 10:14:05 AM

Lost reference might have gone over better had it said Hugo from lost. I sure scratched my head on that one.

I'm glad his fitness is in the toilet. How can I root for the underdog if he's going to go and be in shape and stuff.

Posted by: David Schloss at Apr 19, 2006 10:25:05 AM

Fair enough -- through the magic of the writeable web, it's now "Hugo from 'Lost'"....

Posted by: Frank at Apr 19, 2006 10:31:55 AM