Jan Ullrich still has it!!!

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He may also have won 04, since without Armstrong the race dynamics would have changed and he probably doesn't lose so much time in the Pyrenees.

And as he is going for 7 wins he doesn't get named in Operation Puerto :p

P.S. Just realised that you're giving him 02 as well. You're suggesting that it was defeats by Armstrong that sent him off the rails?

Anyway, going for 6 (the record) then in 06.
He could have won but was over 2 minutes behind Basso so would have to make that up somehow during the mountains and Klöden was stronger then him as well. It depends on how much time Basso thinks he needs for the time trials and how much he and his team can blow the race up.

I think so. He not only lost to Armstrong but got dominated by him and couldn’t even win a stage. Then a long while ago, and I don’t remember the thread, but multiple people brought up losing to Armstrong took a big hit to his mental status, especially after he was supposed to be in his best shape for 01, and that could have caused him to drink more and the drugs to overcome his depression and find relief. He raced once in 2002 due to injury in January, got the DUI in May, drugs in June, and then let go by Telekom do something was happening then. Maybe with success the two years before he comes back and wins after the injury, maybe he doesn’t.
 
Quite different situation. It was free for Armstrong to be 'generous' and wait there, it wasn't two years later for Ullrich.
This. Armstrong is extremely skillful manipulator and he knew exactly how it has zero effect on the end result and did it for publicity. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me even if he quickly calculated that there’s a chance his “generosity” might turn out to be a far more costly obligation for his competition some time in the future.
 
There were no mental health conversations back then. Ullrich went into it young and there was no way he or most of these former riders could stay immune to everything. A detrimental way to break you down physically and mentally until there was only a shell left in most cases. That had nothing to do with being weak, just human.

I hope he finds peace within himself.
 
There were no mental health conversations back then.
While I agree with the rest, he himself said he was depressed about his knee injury and this was the same injury that kept him out of the 1999 Tour.

“Ullrich, a four-time runner-up in the Tour de France, said he accepted total responsibility for his “idiotic” actions.
“It was an incredibly idiotic thing to do, which is inexcusable and I take full responsibility,” the East German-born rider admitted. However Ullrich said he had decided to paint the town red because he was depressed as he had felt no tangible signs the knee had improved since the operation.
“It is understandable that one wants to escape the four walls of the clinic… I was going stir crazy,” he said.”

 
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While I agree with the rest, he himself said he was depressed about his knee injury and this was the same injury that kept him out of the 1999 Tour.

“Ullrich, a four-time runner-up in the Tour de France, said he accepted total responsibility for his “idiotic” actions.
“It was an incredibly idiotic thing to do, which is inexcusable and I take full responsibility,” the East German-born rider admitted. However Ullrich said he had decided to paint the town red because he was depressed as he had felt no tangible signs the knee had improved since the operation.
“It is understandable that one wants to escape the four walls of the clinic… I was going stir crazy,” he said.”

To me that just sounds like a problem that wasnt a problem, until it was a big problem.

Which stems from issues of not speaking out and not being comfortable in dealing with the issues. Eventually escaping and submitting to cope mechanisms.

Getting a serious injury takes you out physically and the body heals, but the mind usually takes a long time. Longer time in many cases.

It is a lot of different factors involved in getting to a place of helplessness and mental health is surely one of them.

Him taking all the responsibility is admirable but also a bit foolish and naive to believe. Ullrich was definitely taken advantage off by other people in his life or around him, which has caused a lot of problems for him. Yes, he in the end has made a lot decisions that have affected him deeply but it is also decisions made in a fragile state and out of desperation. It cant be all his own doing that he has ended up in the place and state he is in.

We can only hope he can find some stability and peace again.
 
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This. Armstrong is extremely skillful manipulator and he knew exactly how it has zero effect on the end result and did it for publicity. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me even if he quickly calculated that there’s a chance his “generosity” might turn out to be a far more costly obligation for his competition some time in the future.
Armstrong only waited briefly anyway, then used the excuse that Kivilev (?) who was in the gc mix had caught up on the descent and attacked, to continue racing. Ullrich mostly caught up on his own accord (though was eventually dropped again on the final climb of the day of course).
 
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He could have won but was over 2 minutes behind Basso so would have to make that up somehow during the mountains and Klöden was stronger then him as well. It depends on how much time Basso thinks he needs for the time trials and how much he and his team can blow the race up.

I think so. He not only lost to Armstrong but got dominated by him and couldn’t even win a stage. Then a long while ago, and I don’t remember the thread, but multiple people brought up losing to Armstrong took a big hit to his mental status, especially after he was supposed to be in his best shape for 01, and that could have caused him to drink more and the drugs to overcome his depression and find relief. He raced once in 2002 due to injury in January, got the DUI in May, drugs in June, and then let go by Telekom do something was happening then. Maybe with success the two years before he comes back and wins after the injury, maybe he doesn’t.
My suggestion was that he wouldn't have been 2 minutes behind Basso, because even if he had been dropped (on Tourmalet and PDB) he wouldn't have been dropped nearly as early without pace setting from Postal/Azevedo.

Basso probably would have discovered that Ullrich was on bad days only when it was too late. Also remember that Ivan was only just developing the mentality of a potential GT winner during 04, having finished 7th in 03. He was possibly surprised himself to be riding alongside Lance.
 
While I agree with the rest, he himself said he was depressed about his knee injury and this was the same injury that kept him out of the 1999 Tour.

“Ullrich, a four-time runner-up in the Tour de France, said he accepted total responsibility for his “idiotic” actions.
“It was an incredibly idiotic thing to do, which is inexcusable and I take full responsibility,” the East German-born rider admitted. However Ullrich said he had decided to paint the town red because he was depressed as he had felt no tangible signs the knee had improved since the operation.
“It is understandable that one wants to escape the four walls of the clinic… I was going stir crazy,” he said.”

Interesting theory. I always felt that Jan's slightly slower climbing pace was due to the post 2000 world being slightly different to the pre 2000 one.

But anyway, if the knee really was still bad, then to win a Vuelta and claim many more Paris podiums with it is incredible.
 

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