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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 6-28, 2002
Tour de France news for May 7, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Ullrich renounces the Tour
Jan Ullrich will not race in this year's Tour de France, according to German newspaper Bild. The winner of the 1997 Tour cited his knee injury, which has kept him out of competition for most of the year. Ullrich had a similar problem in 1999, although that came later in the season after he crashed in the Tour of Germany in June. In every other year that he has raced the Tour (1996, 1998, 2000, 2001) he has finished second.
Telekom team management has confirmed that Ullrich will not race in the Tour. "There doesn't seem to be much competition for Armstrong now," said Telekom manager Walter Goodefroot in an interview with Darren Tulett of Bloomberg News. "He is unquestionably the strongest."
Daniel Baal, the director of the Amaury Sport Organization which runs the Tour, commented that "This is very unfortunate, and especially for Ullrich himself. Last year, he was the principal rival to Lance Armstrong".
In a recent interview with Cyclingnews, Armstrong said "no question about it, we need a fit Jan Ullrich in the Tour De France this year; I do, you do, we all do - especially if he's fit and ready to win."
This year unfortunately, that's not going to happen.
Ullrich had his driving licence confiscated last week by German police after being reported for driving his Porsche into a bike stand and knocking over several bicycles. His blood alcohol level was reported to be 1.4 g/L at the time.