Jan Ullrich has finally hung up his bibs, saying he never cheated despite pernicious rumors to the contrary, most of them coming from the Operación Puerto inquiry, apparently headed by a Spanish graduate of the Inspector Clouseau Close Cover Before Striking School of Earning Big Pay Through Crime Detection at Home in Your Spare Time.
So. I’m sad to see him go. Granted, he’s been paid to ride his bike pretty much his entire life, so it’s tough to feel too bad for him, but look at the record:
- Groomed from pretty much birth to be the greatest cyclist in the world, he’s stymied by an American – no, a Texan – with one nut in his quest to win the Tour more than once.
- He’s stuck with semi-disfunctional teams most of his career
- Coming of age as the Iron Curtian is finally lifted, he’s stuck in a newly repressive free world – the life of booze and babes he’s been promised as a semi-celebrity is doubly ganked from him. First, changing mores make that sort of thing only OK for hot heiresses. Second, Mario C had the market cornered on that stuff for most of the 90’s and 2Ks.
- Last year of his career, he’s suspended on crappy, unsubstantiated charges.
So, here’s to Jan – gonna miss him.
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