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Ullrich's manager blasts Deutschland Tour organizers

By Susan Westemeyer

As might be expected, Jan Ullrich's manager doesn't think much of comments that his client shouldn't be invited to the Tour of Deutschland next year. "If it weren't for Jan, the Deutschland Tour, as it is now, wouldn't exist," Wolfgang Strohband told "It's an insult to the fans to discriminate against one of the most successful German athletes simply because of speculation, and to want to deny him a start" in the tour.

Strohband further criticized comments from German television officials, who said that they would have "a problem" televising a Deutschland Tour which included Ullrich. "Things have gone too far when a race organizer is put under such pressure by television officials and sponsors. Soon the TV programmers will be picking out the team line-ups."

He concluded, "Jan will ride again in 2007, even when that won't please some people. The very fact that some people never want to see him ride again is a very strong motivation for Jan."

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