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  Jan Ullrich    

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl
Jan Ullrich was born December 2, 1973.

Ullrich was an all-round rider of great talent. He won two Grand Tours (one Tour de France and one Vuelta a Espana).

He also placed second five times in the Tour de France, place third once in the Tour de France, and won an Olympic Road Race title.

In 1996, at age 22, he rode his first Tour de France on the Deutche Telekom team as the lieutenant to Denmark’s Bjarne Riis.

That year, Riis won the Tour de France, stopping Miguel Indurain’s five-year winning streak. Ullrich placed second, just 1:41 behind Riis.

In 1997, Ullrich was to continue to support Riis as team leader, but it became apparent that Ullrich was the stronger rider and Riis ended up supporting Ullrich in Ullrich’s win over Richard Virenque of France and Marco Pantani of Italy.

Ullrich was second to Marco Pantani of Italy in the 1998 Tour de France.

Ullrich didn’t participate in the 1999 Tour, but won the Vuelta a Espana later that year in front of Igor Gonzalez Galdeano of Spain and Roberto Heras of Spain.

In 2000, Ullrich was second in the 2000 Tour de France behind Lance Armstrong of the USA.

Ullrich then went on to win the Olympic Road Race in 2000 in front of Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan and Andreas Kloden of Germany.

Ullrich arrived in peak condition at the 2001 Tour de France, but was defeated by an even more fit and focused Lance Armstrong.

In 2003, Ullrich pushed Armstrong to his limit and placed second by just over one minute.

Ullrich also placed third in the 2005 race behind Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso of Italy.

Picture courtesy of www.grahamwatson.com

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