Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ullrich Vs. Armstrong

Reacting to the news of Jan Ullrich's suspension, veteran Gerolsteiner rider Georg Totschnig revealed a difference between the two greatest Tour de France racers of the past decade:
With Jan, it has affected one of my best friends in the scene. You could sit down to dinner with him and talk not just about cycling, but about everything. When I sat together with my wife Michi, him and and his girlfriend Sara, we talked about how his daughter Sarah was doing in kindergarten, when he would hold his next party at his house in Switzerland, and whether singer Udo Lindenberg would drop by. Lance Armstrong was different. He spoke the whole evening only about training, his saddle and the position of his handlebars. For him there was only cycling, and that's probably exactly why he won the Tour seven times.
I agree with Totschnig's assessment. The charge that Ullrich hasn't been 100% dedicated like Armstrong has been made many times, but this spells it out well. We may have seen the last of Ullrich, though. Francisco Mancebo retired on the spot when he was suspended yesterday, and some think Ullrich will walk away from the sport, too.

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