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Ullrich brimming with confidence

German cycling great Jan Ullrich said Monday that he is optimistic that he can end Lance Armstrong's five-year reign as Tour de France champion. The 30-year-old 1997 Tour de France winner, on the island of Mallorca for team camp, said his T-Mobile team was the strongest squad he had ever lined up with as he seeks to shake off his bridesmaid's tag which has seen him fill the runners-up spot five times - three of them behind Armstrong. "This is the strongest team I've raced with," said the Olympic road race champion, who pushed Armstrong all the way last year losing by just over a

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004

Photo: AFP Photo DDP/Torsten Silz

German cycling great Jan Ullrich said Monday that he is optimistic that he can end Lance Armstrong’s five-year reign as Tour de France champion.

The 30-year-old 1997 Tour de France winner, on the island of Mallorca for team camp, said his T-Mobile team was the strongest squad he had ever lined up with as he seeks to shake off his bridesmaid’s tag which has seen him fill the runners-up spot five times – three of them behind Armstrong.

“This is the strongest team I’ve raced with,” said the Olympic road race champion, who pushed Armstrong all the way last year losing by just over a minute.

Ullrich is due to compete for the first time in the Tour of Murcia in March.

A winning combo? Jan Ullrich thinks so.

A winning combo? Jan Ullrich thinks so.

Photo: AFP Photo DDP/Torsten Silz

“If all the riders are in top form at the start of the Tour de France then we will be the main adversaries for Armstrong,” added Ullrich, who returned to the team after brief stays with the financially troubled Coast team and then the Bianchi outfit for whom he raced in the 2003 Tour de France.

Ullrich will once again be partnered with ace sprinter Erik Zabel, part of the team that helped him to the 1997 title, while he will be aided by Santiago Botero and Kazakh star Alexandre Vinokourov, who finished third in the Tour last year.
Copyright AFP2004T-Mobile 2004
Rolf Aldag (G)
Eric Baumann (G)
Torsten Hiekmann (G)
Matthias Kessler (G)
Andreas Klier (G)
Andreas Kloeden (G)
AndrĊ½ Korff (G)
Jan Schaffrath (G)
Stephan Schreck (G)
Tobias Steinhauser (G)
Jan Ullrich (G)
Christian Werner (G)
Steffen Wesemann (G)
Erik Zabel (G)
Mario Aerts (B)
Cadel Evans (Aus)
Santiago Botero (Col)
Giuseppe Guerini(I)
Daniele Nardello (I)
Paolo Savoldelli (I)
Serguei Ivanov (RUS)
Alexandre Vinokourov (Kzk)
Serguei Yakovlev (Kzk)
Tomas Konecny (Cz)
Bram Schmitz (Nl)

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