A German bicycle racer, currently the only real serious threat to Lance Armstrong in his attempt to win the Tour de France.

He is part of the Deutsche Telekom team, and the unquestioned leader when it comes to the Tour.

He's won the Tour in 1997, the Tour of Spain in 1999, and the Olympic Road Race in 2000. He is also the current (2001) German Road Champion.

His racing style is similar to that of Lance Armstrong. He is a strong time trialist that is able to take care of himself on the hills. In the past, his descending abilities were not quite up to standard.

He's been frequently attacked by bicycle racing observers for not being in shape at the beginning of the season. But his results, including second place in the Tour in 1998 and 2000, demonstrate that he has consistently been a top performer in stage races.

Jan Ullrich was born 2th December 1973 in Rostock. As Rostock lies in the former GDR, his talent was seen very early. He made his first race at the age of 8 and won it. When he became 13 he started vistiting a sports school. Sports schools in the former GDR where elite schools, pupils did not only learned in better environments than in normal schools, but the school was also their sports club. Before and after school the children had to train. Often doping was involved to, but Jan says he has never been doped.

After the reunion of Germany Jan moved to Hamburg where he was an amateur racer. 1995 he became a professional for the Team Telekom. In his first Tour de France Jan finished second, one of the best results for a rookie. Many people who followed the Tour 1996 would agree that he would have been able to win the Tour this year. But as Bjarne Riis was his teammate and captain the Team Telekom urged him into the helping role. One year later he won the Tour de France and many people sayed, that he would dominate he Tour for the next decade.

But Jan never really sacrificed himself for bike racing. After every season he made a long holiday in which he gained a lot of weight. In the following year Jan became ill in spring and so he wasn't in very good shape when he came to the Tour. Consequently Marco Pantani was too strong for him. 1999 wasn't a good Tour de France year for him, too. He was in good form, but during the Deutschland Rundfahrt (Tour of Germany) he crashed and was unable to start at the Tour. But later this year he showed his great talent, when he won the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) and the gold medal in the World Championships time trial. Like 1999 he wasn't able to win the tour in 2000 and 2001. There was a new competitor: Lance Armstrong. Lance who had been a very promising racer in the beginning 90', had had cancer, but he came back even stronger. Especially because he knew what he wanted: bicycle racing. Consequently he trained much better than Jan, who still thought that he had enough talent to pause for three month in the winter. Maybe this will change this year...

Greatest victories:
World Champion Street (Amateur)
Bronze medal World Championship Time Trial (as an amateur)
2nd in the Tour de France
HEW Cyclassics
Tour de France
2nd in the Tour de France
World Championship Time Trial
Olympic Champion Street
Silver medal Olympia Time Trial
2nd in the Tour de France
World Championship Time Trial

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