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Jan Ullrich Photo Gallery

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Major wins and high placings | Professional teams | Nicknames | Photos |

Jan Ullrich (born December 2, 1973) was one of modern cycling's most titanically talented racers. Yet, to steal a line from Raphaël Géminiani, Jan Ullrich was the despair of Germany because his work ethic didn't let him exploit his magnificent ability. After winning the 1997 Tour de France, Ullrich's career was blighted by his tendency to put on weight and become deconditioned in the winter and then struggle through the early season losing weight and re-finding his form.

Jan Ullrich was born in Rostock, a Baltic town in what was then East Germany. His cycling talent allowed him to attend a special Berlin sports school.

After the Berlin wall fell he moved to Hamburg and in 1993 he won the Amateur World Road Championship in Oslo, Norway. At those same championships, Lance Armstrong became the World Pro Road Champion.

The next year Ullrich turned pro and rode for the German Telekom team. In 1996, rather than ride the Atlanta Olympics, he assisted Bjarne Riis' incredible (and dope-fueled) Tour de France win. It was during the 1996 Tour that Ullrich's remarkable gift for stage racing became apparent. As Riis grew tired during the final week, Ullrich grew ever stronger until he won the final individual time trial, allowing Ullrich to finish second, only 1 minute 41 seconds behind Riis.

Ullrich had commanding form in the 1997 Tour de France. Riis was still the team leader, and though Ullrich was clearly the stronger rider, Ullrich wasn't given the freedom to race for victory until stage 10 when it became clear Riis was having trouble and would not win the Tour. Ullrich won the 1997 Tour by more than 9 minutes and became the first German to win the Tour de France. Ullrich was so dominating several riders feared he would win the Tour for many years to come. Miguel Indurain was among them, but he added a proviso. Ullrich could keep winning the Tour if he would stay in shape.

Ullrich went on to win the HEW Cyclassics a couple of weeks later.

Germany went crazy over Ullrich. He signed valuable endorsement contracts that meant he would never have to worry about money again. But, with that security came complacency. Ullrich said he started his 1998 season with a new personal record. He had never before weighed so much.

Despite his poor start to the season, he gained the lead and the Yellow Jersey early in the 1998 Tour. But as the race hit the Alps in the last week Ullrich's lack of deep, hard conditioning showed. Marco Pantani took the lead after a brilliant ride in stage 15. As Pantani soared, Ullrich needed teammates Riis and Udo Bölts to pace him to the finish at Les Deux Alpes. Ullrich's 1998 second-place Tour finish would be the first of many squandered opportunities.

A crash in the 1999 Tour of Germany caused a stubborn knee injury that was repaired after several attempts. Knee troubles and their fallout caused Ullrich to miss the 1999 and 2002 Tours, though he was able to race and win the 1999 Vuelta a España.

In the 2000 and 2001 Tours de France Ullrich, always playing catch-up with his conditioning, was out-matched by Lance Armstrong. Ullrich did win the 2000 Olympic Road Race and gained the silver medal in the time trial.

Ullrich had better condition going into the 2003 Tour, and combined with several missteps by Armstong, the 2003 Tour de France was close. Ullrich probably lost the Tour de France when he gallantly waited for Armstrong after the American had crashed on the climb to Luz-Ardiden. I believe it is the only time a rider in contention for Tour victory has waited for a competitor when the race was actually in play.

Jan Ullrich rode the Tour two more times, gaining a fourth in 2004 and third in 2005.

Just before the 2006 Tour began the Operation Puerto Spanish doping scandal began. Ullrich was implicated and because the ProTour code prevented riders suspected of doping from racing, Ullrich and several other riders involved were sent home.

Jan Ullrich retired from professional racing in February of 2007. For years he would be dogged by doping accusations and investigations. In 2012 the Court for the Arbitration of Sport found him guilty of doping and stripped him of all results from May of 2005 onward. In 2013 he admitted that he had doped with the help of Eufemiano Fuentes,the doctor at the center of Operation Puerto scandal.

Major victories and high placings:

1993 (amateur):

1994 (amateur):

1995:

1996:

1997:

1998:

1999:

2000:

2001:

2003:

2004:

2005: Ullrich was stripped of all racing results from May 2005 on.

2006:

Professional Teams:

1994-2001: Telekom
2003 (until early May): Coast
2003 (balance of season): Bianchi
2004-2006: T-Mobile

Nicknames: Der Kaiser, Der Jan, The YoYo (because he would gain weight in the winter and lose it for the Tour de France), The Red Light from Rostock (because of his red hair).


Photos:

Ullrich at the 1996 Tour de France stage 4

Ullrich (in pink and white Telekom kit) at stage 4 of the 1996 Tour de France. Abraham Olano is sporting the rainbow jersey.

Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich in the 1996 Tour de France

1996 Tour de France stage 7: Eventual 1996 Tour winner Bjarne Riis leads, Ullrich the domestique (red hair and pink/white jersey) is close by.

Jan Ullrich time trialing in stage 18 of the 1996 Tour de France

Der Jan time trialing to Val d'Isere in stage 8 of the 1996 Tour de France.

Jan Ullrich in the 1996 Tour de France

Ullrich racing to the finish in Sestriere in stage 9 of the 1996 Tour de France.

Ullrich instage 16 of the 1996 Tour de France

Ullrich again keeping a close eye on Abraham Olano in stage 16 of the 1996 Tour, finishing at Lourdes/Hautecam.

Ullrich riding  to cvictory in the 1996 Tour's 20th stage

Jan Ullrich's winning time trial ride in the 20th stage of the 1996 Tour de France.

Ullrich gets cleaned up after stage 20 of the 1996 Tour

Racing is a dirty business. Ullrich gets cleaned up after his stage 20 winning ride.

Ullrich rides the 1996 Tour's final stage

Ullrich stays close to yellow jersey teammate Bjarne Riis in the 1996 Tour's final stage.

Ullrich with his bike at the end of the 1996 Tour

Ullrich, looking a little worse for the wear, with his bike at the end of the 1996 Tour de France.

1996 Tour de France final podium

1996 Tour de France final podium, from left: Richard Virenque (3rd place), Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich.

Jan Ullrich riding the 1997 Tour de France prologue

Wearing the German Champion's kit, Ullrich rides the 1997 Tour de France prologue.

Ullrich finishes stage 3 of the 1997 Tour de France

Ullrich finishes the third stage of the 1997 Tour in the front group. Here he's betwwen Jean-Cyril Robin (left) and Abraham Olano.

Ullrich at the start of stage 4 of the 1997 Tour de France

Ullrich ready to ride stage 4 of the 1997 Tour de France.

Jan Ullrich at stage 6 of the 1997 Tour de France

Ullrich at stage 6 of the 1996 Tour de France.

Richard Virenque leads Jan Ullrich in the 1997 Tour de France

1997 Tour de France stage 9: Richard Virenque leads Ullrich.

Ullrich riding to victory in the 1997 Tour's 10th stage

Jan Ullrich riding to victory at Andorra-Arcalis in the 1997 Tour de france's 10th stage.

Jan Ullrich wins stage 10 of the 1997 Tour de France

And the 10th stage of the 1997 Tour de France is Ullrich's.

Ullrich in yellow

And the reward for that fabulous ride, Ullrich in yellow after stage 10 of the 1997 Tour de France.

Ullrich ride the 1997 Tour stage 12 time trial

Not content with crushing the competition in the mountains, here Ullrich delivers the winning time trial in St. Etienne in stage 12 of the 1997 Tour de France.

Ullrich rides to l'Alpe d'Huez in stage 13 of the 1997 Tour de France

Ullrich rides to l'Alpe d'Huez in stage 13 of the 1997 Tour de France.

Ullrich riding to Morzine in the 1997 Tour de France

Ullrich in yellow riding to Morzine in stage 15 of the 1997 Tour de France.

Ullrich rides to Fribourg in the 1997 Tour de France

1997 Tour de France stage 16: Ullrich in yellow on the road to Fribourg.

Ullrich riding the 1997 Tour de France stage 20 time trial

Ullrich didn't win the final time trial at Disneyland Paris, Olano beat him by 45 seconds. Didn't matter, Ullrich had the Tour sewn up, 2nd place Richard Virenque was more than 9 minutes back in the GC.

The Tour starts its final stage at Disneyland Paris

The 1997 Tour's final stage starts at Disneyland Paris.

Ullrich in the 1997 Tour final stage

Ullrich with a bodyguard of Telekom teammates as he rides the final stage of the 1997 Tour de France.

1997 Tour de France podium

1997 Tour de France podium, from left: Richard Virenque, Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani.

Jan Ullrich rider stage 7 of the 1998 Tour de France

Ullrich on his way to winning the stage 7 Correze time trial in the 1998 Tour de France.

Ullrich in yellow after stage 7 of the 1998 Tour de France

That stage 7 time trial was good enough to make Ullrich the Yellow Jersey.

Ullrich and Pantani waiting to start stage 8 of the 1998 Tour de France

Ullrich waiting to start stage 8 of the 1998 Tour in Brive la Gaillarde. Marco Pantani is the Mecatone Uno rider on the right.

Jan Ullrich races stage 11 of the 1998 Tour de France

Stage 11 of the 1998 Tour de France: Jan Ullrich is racing to the finish at Plateau de Beille with Bobby Julich on his wheel. Marco Pantani won the stage, leaving Ullrich 1 minute 40 seconds behind. Ullrich was still in yellow.

Ullrich racing to Carpentras in the 1998 Tour de France

Ullrich racing to the stage 13 finish in Carpentras in the 1998 Tour de France.

Ullrich descending in stage 14 of the 1998 Tour de France

Jan Ullrich descends with the pack on the way to Grenoble in stage 14 of the 1998 Tour de France. A watchful Marco Pantani is in the upper right-hand corner.

Ullrich racing stage 15 of the 1998 Tour de France

And here it all came apart. Bjarne Riis is leading Ullrich to the finish at Les Deux Alpes in stage 15 of the 1998 Tour de France. Marco Pantani is long gone and will be in yellow at the end of the day with Ullrich more than 5 minutes down.

Ullrich and Pantani in the 1998 Tour de France

Marco Pantani has a healthy lead and can ride defensively. He he marks Jan Ullrich in stage 16 of the 1998 Tour de France on the way to the finish in Albertville.

Ullrich beats Pantani in the 1998 Tour de France stage 16  sprint

Ullrich beats Pantani in the 1998 Tour de France stage 16 sprint. Pantani wasn't worried, he led third place Ullrich by almost 6 minutes.

Jan Ullrich riding the 1998 Tour de France stage 20 time trial

Ullrich's winning 1998 Tour de France stage 20 time trial ride elevated him to second place in the GC.

1998 Tour de france podium

1998 Tour de france podium, from left: Jan Ullrich, Marco Pantani and Bobby Julich

Jan Ullrich rides the first stage of the 2000 Tour de France

World time trial champion Jan Ullrich rides the first stage of the 2000 Tour de France.

Jan Ullrich and Joseba Beloki climb Mt Venoux in the 2000 Tour de France

Joseba Beloki leads Jan Ullrich up Mt. Ventoux in stage 12 of the 2000 Tour de France.

Ullrich races to Briancon in the 2000 tour de France

Jan Ullrich racing to Briançon in stage 14 of the 2000 Tour de France. That should be Roberto Heras on his wheel.

Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong

Ullrich and Lance Armstrong riding stage 17 of the 2000 Tour.

Jan Ullrich warms up for the 2001 Giro d'Italia stage 15 time trial

Ullrich gets help warming up for the 2001 Giro d'Italia stage 15 time trial.

Ullrich in stage 7 of the 2001 Tour de France

Alexandre Vinokourov leads Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong in stage 7 of the 2001 Tour de France.

Ullrich races to l'Alpe d'Huez in the 2001 Tour de France

Ullrich races up l'Alpe d'Huez in the 2000 Tour de France. Lance Armstrong is two minutes up the road.

Ullrich and Armstrong finish together at Luz Ardiden in 2001

2001 Tour de France, stage 14: Ullrich reaches back for Lance Armstrong's hand as they finish at Luz Ardiden.

Ullrich at the 2003 Fleche Wallonne

Ullrich at the 2003 Flèche Wallonne in the short-lived Coast colors.

Ullrich in the 2003 Giro d'Italia

Ullrich rides the fifth stage of the 2003 Giro d'Italia, now in a Bianchi kit.

Ullrich starting the 2003 Tour de France prologue

Ullrich starting the 2003 Tour de France prologue.

Ullrich finishes 2003  Tour de France stage 13

Ullrich finishes 2003 Tour de France stage 13 at Plateau de Bonascre. Carlos Sastre won the stage, Ullrich was second, followed by Haimar Zubeldia in orange. Lance Armstrong in yellow can be seen 7 seconds further back. At this point Armstrong's lead was 15 seconds.

Armstrong marks Ullrich in the 2003 Tour de France

Armstrong marks Ullrich in stage 14 of the 2003 Tour de France.

Ullrich races to Luz Ardiden in stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France

Ullrich races to Luz Ardiden in stage 15 of the 2003 Tour de France. This is the stage where Armstrong crashed, Ullrich waited and then Armstrong attacked to win the stage. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time in modern cycling where a rider in contention waited for a competitor when the race was actually in play. It probably cost Jan Ullrich the 2003 Tour de France.

Ullrich finishes the 2003 Tour de france stage 19 time trial

Jan Ullrich finishes the 2003 Tour stage 19 time trial in Nantes. You can see his torn shorts from his crash on the wet road.

Armstrong and Ullrin finish the 2003 Tour de France

Final stage of the 2003 Tour de France. Lance Armstrong leads Alexandre Vinokourov and Jan Ullrich over the cobbles of the Champs Elysées.

Ullrich riding to La Mongie in the 2004 Tour de France

Ullrich riding to La Mongie in stage 12 of the 2004 Tour de France. He finished 20th that day.

Ullrich races stage 13 of the 2004 Tour de France

Jan Ullrich races to Plateau de Beille in stage 13 of the 2004 Tour. He did better this day, finishing 6th.

Ullrich wins the 2004 Coppa Sabatini

Der Jan gets one. Here he beats Franco Pellizotti to win the 2004 Coppa Sabatini.

Ullrich starts the 2006 Giro stage 11 time trial

Ullrich starts the 2006 Giro d'Italia stage 11 time trial in Pontedera.

Ullrich riding to La Punt in stage 6 of the 2006 Tour of Switzerland

Jan Ullrich riding to La Punt in stage 6 of the 2006 Tour of Switzerland.

Ullrich riding top Ambri in the 8th stage of the Tour of Switzerland

Jan Ullrich riding to Ambri in the 8th stage of the Tour of Switzerland.

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