Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why I like Jan Ullrich

If there is one sportsman in the world whom I genuinely feel sympathy for, that would be Jan Ullrich. Imagine winning the Tour De France at a very young age, then be hailed as the next big thing in cycling only to never ever win it again !! Always destined to finish second behind the great Lance Armstrong.

I have read Armstrong's books : It's not about the bike & Every second counts. I have tremendous admiration for the way he overcame obstacles. But Ullrich is the one who arouses my curiosity. How can a person who is so talented waste it all by just being lazy ? What goes through his mind, what does he think ? It would be fascinating to know. Unfortunately his Autobiography , aptly titled Ganz oder gar nicht, Meine Geschicte ( All or nothing, My story) , is not available in India . I do not even know if an English edition exists !!

I also read a brilliant book by Daniel Coyle , Lance Armstrong , tour de force in which he traces the fascinating paths of three of Armstrong's 2004 race rivals : Tyler Hamilton , Iban Mayo and Jan Ullrich. This book gave me some insight into Ullrich, but still I yearn for more !!

There is this unforgettable quote by Ullrich's manager when someone asked him the difference between Armstrong and Ullrich. He said "Armstrong lives to race, Ullrich races to live".

Tell me, how can this guy not interest you ? :-))

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