"I am very satisfied with how the first stages have gone," said T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich of his only second-ever Giro d'Italia. "I have been able to do what I set out to do. I feel how my form is coming. The preparations for the Tour are going well." On www.t-mobile-team.com, he also praised his teammates Olaf Pollack and Serguei Gonchar for winning the leader's jersey. "Of course that was great. The whole team has worked well. Too bad we weren't able to win the team time trial. Losing by only one second to CSC is a little irritating."
He added that he would not be riding all out in the upcoming mountain stages. "I will surely not ride so hard every day as I did in the seventh stage, where I rode along with the best. I am still continuing to use the Giro as preparation for the Tour de France in July." Ullrich finished over 16 minutes down on Sunday's mountaintop finish, and he reiterated, "I cannot and will not ride ride on my limit every day."
Directeur sportif and Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage was also satisfied with his charge's progress. "Jan is getting better step by step. The last three stages were very difficult, but he has looked very good."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer