Tour de France News for July 2, 2003
Edited by Anthony Tan
Ullrich becomes a Dad
As of eight past three yesterday afternoon, Jan Ullrich became a father
to his first child, daughter Sarah Maria, delivered at Freiburg University
According to Ullrich's website, janullrich.de, his girlfriend Gaby had
a quite a complicated and difficult birth, with the operation requiring
a Caesarian section. However, both Gaby and Sarah Maria are now doing
fine, and today Ullrich drives to Switzerland to pack his bags for the
Tour, flying out to Paris at midday.
"I could dance on clouds," said a delighted Ullrich. "These hours will
never be forgotten; Sarah Maria's birth gives me more motivation for the
Tour de France, and as I fly to Paris, my thoughts are with my wife and
McEwen seeing green
By Anthony Tan
Last year's champion in the points competition at the Tour de France,
Robbie McEwen, has started to come good just in time to defend his green
jersey title at the Centenary Tour.
A left-knee injury sustained at the Tour Down Under when McEwen was in
winning position to win overall began McEwen's rollercoaster ride this
season. Subsequent abandons at the Tour Méditerranéen and Paris-Nice left
the 31 year old Australian and his punters wondering, however, things
started improving at the end of March with an impressive win at the Dwars
His form continued to improve until mid-April at Scheldeprijs, but McEwen's
luck turned sour once again when was caught in a bad crash with just two
"You've always got to rate your season based on what you've been through,"
said McEwen in an interview with Cyclingnews. "Last year everything went
perfectly and I won one race after another; this year, I've had my injury
at the Tour Down Under, then I came back from that a little too quickly
and over did it, then I got sick, and then I had a big crash in Scheldeprijs."
McEwen may have gone down, but he wasn't out: the pocket rocket came
back firing at the Giro d'Italia, winning two stages and quelling sprint
rival Alessandro Petacchi's incredible run, albeit only for a few days.
His most recent win in stage two of the Tour de Suisse was a significant
morale booster, and McEwen says he now feels ready for another shot at
the maillot vert.
"I think anybody who can go and win Dwars door Vlaanderen, two Giro stages
and a stage in the Tour de Suisse could already say they've had a good
season, and now my most important race is coming up, so I'm pretty happy
with things so far," said McEwen.
Asked about his main rivals in the game for green, McEwen lists Erik
Zabel, Stuart O'Grady, Baden Cooke and Alessandro Petacchi as 'real' threats.
In terms of tactics, that's yet to be decided: "Last year, I probably
gave away about 25 points not doing the intermediate sprints for the first
four or five days, so that's something I'll have to consider over the
next few days to decide exactly what my tactics will be."
(See also: Cyclingnews
interview with Robbie McEwen)
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