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2002 Vuelta

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Vuelta News forAugust 18, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

No Vuelta for Ullrich

Jan Ullrich
Photo: © Sirotti

Jan Ullrich (Team Bianchi) has confirmed that he will not participate in the Vuelta España this year, but has left the door open for the World Road Championships in Hamilton in October. After finishing second for the fourth time in the Championship of Zurich on Sunday, Ullrich indicated that he wouldn't be riding the Vuelta. Team director Rudy Pevenage said that "He won't be starting in the Vuelta in September. We must see how his form goes now. He'll take a break for the first time, because the season has already started to leave its mark."

Ullrich rode strongly today, bridging up to a move on the Forch climb on the last lap that contained Nardello, Hincapie and others, before putting in an attack at the base of the Pfannenstiel. However he admitted that he wasn't as strong as he would have liked to be. "Today I didn't have the legs that I have on my best days," he said, as he was forced to close gaps for much of the rest of the race.

With 2.5 kilometres to go, Ullrich finally broke free of the chasing group and erased 9 seconds of Daniele Nardello's 15 second lead before crossing the line in second place. "Perhaps I could have won if the race was another 400 metres longer," offered Ullrich, but it was clear that Nardello was the strongest and canniest today.

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