Jan Ullrich has made the ultimate sacrifice in his preparations for the Giro d'Italia: he has cut the long locks that so thrilled his female fans this spring. The new 'do "is shorter and lighter, so I will sweat less in the mountains," he quipped. He might need every bit of help he can get. "It will be a real struggle, a battle all the way. The mountain stages are very hard, but I will get through them without digging deep into the red zone and riding myself into the ground."
In an interview on www.team-t-mobile.com, he noted that, "For me the Giro is about form-building and getting into shape for the tour. I am not here to target the GC. I don't want to lose sight of my goal to be in top form for 'Le Tour'."
In an interview with the dpa German press agency, he said, "I will try to win the Tour - I'm not saying that I will do it. There is no better preparation than riding the complete Giro. The difficult mountain stages at the end are just what I need after my late start in the season."
Former pro Marcel Wüst told sid that Ullrich has a difficult task ahead of him. "To go to the start with so few race kilometres is pretty dangerous. It's a high-wire act." Even T-Mobile's sports director and Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage says it will be "damned hard."