Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jan Ullrich

A perpetual Armstrong also-ran. An Ecstasy-snarfing party boy. A lazy squanderer of one of the greatest potentials in modern sport. A whiner. A doper. Most recently, a self-destructive presumptively finished drug-binger. Now, I've never been an apologist for Jan Ullrich or even, particularly, a fan. But, frankly, at this point I don't give a rat's @#$ what Ullrich's done and when--I'm tired of seeing him getting disproportionately smacked in the press over press-kissing up-and-comers and sobbing hypocrites. There's no way that he was ever competing against a completely clean field in his pro career, the same way there's no chance Basso took 12 minutes over the rest of the field in the Giro this year without earning it to some extent at least, and he is indisputably a great--if deeply flawed--champion. With that in mind, and given that Ullrich has been completely screwed and vilified relative to Basso and other pros for similar apparent crimes, here is a small review of Ullrich's palmares:

1993: World Amateur Road Race Champ
1994: Stage, Tour of Hawaii
1995: German Champion; Freiburg
1996: Stage, Tour de France; stage, Reggio; Reggio; Boblinger
1997: 2 stages, Tour de France; Tour de France; stage, Tour de Suisse; German champ; HEW Classic; Luk Cup; Boxmeer; Mulhouse; Emmen; Schweren
1998: 3 stages, Tour de France; Bochum; Hanover; Berlin; Nurmberger Alstadt
1999: 2 stages, Vuelta a Espana; Veulta a Espana; World TT Champ
2000: Olympic champ; Coppa Agostini; Hamover; Freiberg
2001: German champ; World TT champ; Giro dell'Emilia; Versatel; stage, Tour of Hesse; stage, Tour of Lucia; Bad Saulgau crit; Stiphout; Kassel; Hanover; Weisbaden
2003: stage, Tour de France; Run Um Koln; Stiphout; Nact von Hanover; Renault Cup
2004: 2 stages, Tour de Suisse; Tour de Suisse;oppa Sabitini; Grazer Alstadt crit; Heppenheim; Essen
2005: stage, Tour de Suisse; stage, Tour of Germany; Mayrhofer; Nacht von Hanover; Ravensburg; Lorsch
2006: stage, Tour de Suisse; Tour de Suisse; stage, Giro

Sure, Ullrich's a constant f#$%up, and usually, his own worst enemy. And this is what he is, when he is that?

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