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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

News flash for January 13, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich announces new team

Jan Ullrich has made a decision about his future team, choosing to accept the multi-million euro per year offer from Team Coast. Ullrich made the announcement on his website, saying that he was "happy for [Coast boss] Günther Dahms", after the UCI granted Coast a division I licence for 2003.

"The division I status and therefore the automatic start in the Tour and all the important races were for my manager Wolfgang Strohband, my director sportif Rudy Pevenage, and myself, the prerequisites for finalising the negotiations, that we will now be able to do so as quickly as possible."

Ullrich added that despite having several offers, this one was for him the best on sporting grounds.

"It is no secret that Coast, as the fifth ranked team in the world, will also have a strong team next year...I think that if all the details are clear, the contracts will be signed this week. I'm looking forward to my new team!"

Ullrich will certainly join a strong team, with the likes of proven grand tour riders Angel Casero and Alex Zülle. However it's also a troubled one, as several of its riders from last year are claiming that they are owed several months salary.

Team Coast has also tipped Ullrich's former team Telekom from its status as a Top 10 Club team, a point that must surely irk Telekom's manager Walter Godefroot. However, Telekom is still automatically qualified for all the major races in 2003, and certainly has a stronger lineup this year.

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)