Not With a Bang

02.26.2007 | 5:46 am

According to Cyclingnews, Jan’s now officially retired:

At a press conference this morning in Hamburg, Germany, he said, “I could ride again immediately, I could get a license, I am fit, as fit as last year and could immediately have a team. I have seven offers, including ProTour teams.”

But, as he noted, he decided against it. “It has taken months until I was sure what I wanted, what would make me happy. Today, I want to officially announce that I will stay involved in cycling, but not as an active rider.”

Evidently, he’ll be working with Volksbank, an Austrian professional cycling team that I have heard of for both the first and last time as part of this announcement.

Bummed? Damn straight I’m bummed. He says he has seven offers to ride on the table. Shoulda taken one of them. This is no way to end a career.

Today’s Weight: 164.8


  1. Comment by Terri | 02.26.2007 | 5:53 am

    Fatty, are you inconsolable? Would some peanut butter cup brownies to make you feel better?

  2. Comment by Byrdbth | 02.26.2007 | 6:18 am

    I agree with you, it is an awful way to go out.

  3. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 02.26.2007 | 6:25 am

    oh man.

    he is gonna be 115 kilos by may.

  4. Comment by barry1021 | 02.26.2007 | 6:44 am

    Maybe an awful way to go, but given his history, totally predictable.


  5. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.26.2007 | 7:02 am

    I get it; I’m dissapointed, but you have to think about what 100% commitment to being a top cyclist entails. Once that passion is gone, there is just no way to fake it. I’m guessing it’s a descision he’ll regret. Maybe he’ll never come back to being a rider, but I’ll bet when he’s 45, he’s gonna say, “Man, I should have kept riding.”

    A cynic would say he’s retiring because he knows it’s just a matter of time ’till the Puerto allegations are proved true, and his results/reputation would get nuked for continuing to ride.

  6. Comment by TimK | 02.26.2007 | 8:23 am

    Bummed as hell. I watched and hoped that Jan would win again while Lance was still there. And when Lance left, I looked forward to seeing Basso and Ulrich duke it out. Then that stupid announcement came and I learned that the two riders I most wanted to watch would not be in because of ACCUSATIONS. Not proof, but accusations changed the course for them. So, I watched anyway and got excited as I could watching Landis do amazing things. And then more ACCUSATIONS based on poorly administered tests takes the shine away from Landis.
    No, I don’t think that the fields is squeaky clean, but they are going to ruin this damned sport with these poorly administered tests. If you are going to take out the cream of the crop please have your act together. YOU ARE RUINING CAREERS and RUINING THE SPORT!
    Fatty can we start a petition here to ask Jan to come back? Maybe have him as Captain for Team Fatty sponsored by Duncan Hines, Krispy Kreme, and M&M Mars for next year’s new and improved, 10 day Tour of Cali?

  7. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.26.2007 | 9:48 am

    You might send the Janster a Fat Cyclist jersey. Apart from anything else, it’ll set off his carrot-top a treat.

    > he is gonna be 115 kilos by may.

    Better make is a 3XL then. Jan, baby! Accessorise! Accessorise!

  8. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 02.26.2007 | 10:23 am

    I’m not at all surprised by his announcement. Other than I highly doubt any teams made offers. There are always whisperings about what team might be looking at who and I haven’t heard anything besides the Russian team that Hamilton is on.
    I personally think Ullrich was done a couple years ago. It seems he lost the fight and the mentality to win. Even if he had been able to race the 2006 Tour, He wouldn’t have won. He couldn’t have podiumed for sure, but I think Basso would have won it.

  9. Comment by Rob | 02.26.2007 | 11:49 am

    Hmmm…I just find it interesting that this news comes only year and a half after the article in Cycling News (August 10, 2005) wherin Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) calls Jan a poor sap.

    Thanks Rick. Thanks a lot.

  10. Comment by axel | 02.26.2007 | 12:04 pm

    In my mind I have the riders from Operacion Puerto filed as cheats. Neither Ulle nor Basso helped clear up doubt, they waited in a lawyerly manner for the storm to blow over. At least Ulle retired.

    Therefore good riddance, Ulle, hope Basso, Guti, Tyler follow suit soon. No Puerto rider has come forward and said ’sorry, but it is true’ – pathetic, we know your dealer got busted.

    German cycling will find its next heroes from the group of Schumacher, Kopp, Haussler, Gerdemann, Fothen, Sinkewitz, Wegmann, Ciolek. But they are all lean and mean, so the ‘fat cyclist’ crowd may not embrace them.

    But it is nice to see my hometown Hamburg in the cycling news…

  11. Comment by deepersouth | 02.26.2007 | 12:05 pm

    Patrick O’Grady at velonews has this quote from Walter Godefroot after the 2004 tdf (when he was managing T-mobile):

    “Unlike [Lance] Armstrong, [Jan] Ullrich doesn’t have the killer instinct. He’s not obsessed. It’s too bad. Because if you mixed the professionalism of an Erik Zabel with the talent of a Jan Ullrich, you’d have an Eddy Merckx.”

    The rest of O’Grady’s rant is a useful corrective to this soft-in-the-middle lovefest:

  12. Comment by fatty | 02.26.2007 | 12:42 pm

    deepersouth: lovefest? where’s the lovefest?

  13. Comment by bikemike | 02.26.2007 | 12:51 pm

    probably the only way to go, with the anti-drug hounds on your rear wheel.
    now he can eat all those oreos with reese’s peanut butter cups layed on top and microwaved for 24 seconds. gotta go, just heard the ding.

  14. Comment by Lurch | 02.26.2007 | 1:02 pm

    You are BRILLIANT! Headed to the store now. All you B27′ers are hating life now aren’t you. (Wonder what BikeMike’s oreo-reeses would be like with a dab of ice cream on it when it came out of the oven?).

  15. Comment by bikemike | 02.26.2007 | 1:08 pm

    don’t forget the hershey’s chocolate sauce and sprinkles on top of the ice cream.

  16. Comment by the weak link | 02.26.2007 | 1:13 pm

    OK, step up to the plate and invite him to RAWROD. I bet in person he’s a hoot.

    BTW, I ate a honey bun 4 hours ago and have not wanted to eat anything since. Try ‘em as a diet aid.

  17. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 02.26.2007 | 1:19 pm

    I just gained 2 pounds thinking about that. Thanks a lot.

    of course, ice cream! Why didn’t I think of that?

  18. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.26.2007 | 2:44 pm

    Last year when I was at the Tour de France with a group of German friends everyone was pretty disconsolate over der Jan’s not riding but the level of surprise was much less than I had expected. When I doubted that we would ever see Jan ride again professionally, the whole group agreed. And this was even before T-Mobile fired him.

    One day when I was riding near Freiburg in the Black Forest, Jan, who was living in Merdingen nearby at the time, passed me in the other direction. It was two or three weeks after the 2001 Tour de France, if memory serves, and a week before the Championship of Zurich. He waved to me as he rode by and after I returned the salute I watched him ride. Like a turbine, smooth and so powerful; like nothing I had ever seen before. This is how I want to think of him.

    I have a very nice yellow jersey autographed by Jan Ullrich which I was going to frame when his career was over and I could list his palmares. I think maybe it will just stay in the closet now, next to the Johan Museeuw-signed Mapei jersey…

  19. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 02.26.2007 | 2:49 pm

    I’m not too broken up about it. In fact I’m not broken up about it in the least. He was a gifted rider who to me never really took the sport too seriously after he won the TdF.

  20. Comment by Argentius | 02.26.2007 | 5:55 pm

    The biggest could’ve been in cycling now will never be.

    Doping aside, that’s pretty sad.

    Looking back on his career in 15, 20 years, what will Jan think? What will be thought of him?

  21. Comment by Token Skinny Guy | 02.26.2007 | 8:39 pm

    You know, I was never really a Big Jan fan. But now he’s retired, I’m getting all nostelgic and reminiscing about how cool he was. What’s up with that? I hope this is just a publicity stunt to gain new fans. Yea, of course that’s what this is!

  22. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.26.2007 | 10:31 pm

    History will paint him as the lazy champion. It’s a great loss for German cycling. But no big deal in the greater scheme of things. And who knows how history will portray the participants in Operación Puerto.

    All I’ll miss about him is the can he – can’t he speculation surrounding his form each July.

  23. Comment by DeeperSouth | 02.27.2007 | 1:10 am

    Fatty, as you can see I hit the submit button seconds after Axel, who definitively ended the lovefest. What I was reacting to – or against – was the jilted lover tone of your reaction, and some of the earlier comments. There are lots of ways Ulrich could have ended his career better – dealing more openly with Puerto, for example – but joining a new team just would have dragged out the agony. I gather he’s a really nice guy, but he doesn’t seem to enjoy racing bikes, and this deflated ending is of a piece with the rest of his career, if not his gut.
    And hey, if you want a compromised hero, how about David Millar?

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