Relentless Ullrich looking forward to party

In his last pre-Tour 2005 press conference in Challans on Thursday, Jan Ullrich looked pretty relaxed. The T-Mobile star was able to prepare the biggest event of the year without interferences, and is convinced that his form is just right for July - not just for the mountain stages starting the second Tour week, but also for the first time trial today. "I believe I can perform well at the time trial," he said. "I haven't really got the Yellow jersey in mind, because that would put a lot of pressure on the team right away. But I will give everything of course and see what I can pull off."

"Der Kaiser" also talked about Lance Armstrong, who will be the one to beat once again, but for the last time. "I think he will be very strong again this year," Ullrich said. "Otherwise, he wouldn't have lined up at the start. But he, too, has weaknesses, and if he shows them, we will use it. Another year, another opportunity," he optimistically added. Ullrich knows it's his last chance to beat the Texan after so many attempts - but he hasn't really imagined life without Armstrong yet.

Asked if he would miss his rival after this year's Tour, he replied, "I haven't thought about that yet. But the whole cycling world will miss him, because he dominated it during the last years. If there is a big farewell party, I sure hope I'll be invited. There might be a tear or two..."

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