|Estimated value:||€9.5 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of Wealth:||cyclist|
Jan Ullrich is one of the most successful cyclists that Germany has ever produced. He was the first and only German to win the Tour de France. With a resting heart rate of 30 to 35, a lung volume of 6 liters and a heart size of 1200 milliliters, he was considered a small miracle of sports medicine and a talent of the century.
The fact that Ullrich only won the Tour de France once was not least due to his American rival Lance Armstrong, whose victories were later disallowed for doping.
However, towards the end of his career, Ullrich himself was targeted by the doping investigators when his name was found on the list of buyers from the Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. Ullrich later made a partial confession. However, he was allowed to keep his Tour de France title.
After the end of his career, Ullrich repeatedly drew attention to himself with negative headlines in connection with alcohol and drugs.
Jan Ullrich was born in Rostock, where he grew up in difficult family circumstances. His father was a violent drinker who abandoned the family when Ullrich was ten years old.
The rise that Ullrich made as a racing cyclist is all the more remarkable. At just nine years old, he managed to win a bicycle race organized by his school. A year later he won his first race for SG Dynamo Rostock.
Through further successes, the GDR competitive sports system finally became aware of Ullrich, which specifically promoted him and enabled him to move to the children’s and youth sports school of SC Dynamo Berlin. In 1987 he won the GDR schoolchildren’s championship in track four, in 1988 the GDR youth championship in road cycling and in 1990 the GDR youth championship in points race.
After reunification, Ullrich moved to the west, where he celebrated his first successes as an amateur, including the overall amateur world cup, the cycling national league and victories in the Czech Bohemia Tour and the Australian Pacific Power Commonwealth Bank Cycle Classic. In addition, in 1993 he was voted German “Cyclist of the Year”.
In 1996, Jan Ullrich signed his first professional contract with Team Telekom. At his first Tour de France in 1996, Ullrich achieved his first stage win in a time trial. In the overall standings, he finished second behind his Danish teammate Bjarne Riis.
The following year, Ullrich made his big breakthrough by winning the Tour de France. In Germany he was awarded the title “Sportsman of the Year”.
In the years that followed, Ullrich repeatedly struggled with illnesses and injuries in preparation for the Tour de France. Critics accused him of lack of fitness. Despite this, Ullrich finished second behind Marco Pantani in 1998. In 1999 he won the Vuelta a Espana and the World Time Trial Championship.
In 2000, Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong met for the first time in the Tour de France. In the end, Ullrich had to settle for second place. In return, he won the road race at the Olympic Games in Sydney in the same year and was the first German to take the lead in the UCI cycling world rankings.
In the years 2001 and 2003, Ullrich once again met the fate of only finishing second behind his eternal rival Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. After all, in 2003 he managed to win the first stage of a Tour de France since 1998.
He was also awarded the Fair Play Badge by the German Olympic Society for his reaction to the fall of his opponent Lance Armstrong. Instead of using the fall to attack, he let Armstrong catch up. At the end of the year, Ullrich was once again Sportsman of the Year.
In 2004 Ullrich won the Tour de Suisse. In the Tour de France, he finished fourth despite suffering from a cold. In 2005, he managed third place again. In 2006, he was banned from the Tour de France over doping allegations related to the Fuentes scandal. The exclusion also heralded the end of Ullrich’s career, which he announced in early 2007.
The highlight of Jan Ullrich’s career was winning the Tour de France in 1997. The victory made Ullrich one of the most popular athletes in Germany. At the same time, cycling and especially the Tour de France gained unprecedented popularity.
“I’ve been second long enough, now it’s time for another Tour win.”
“I have never cheated on another racer in my career. That’s fact.”
“From that day on nothing was the same as it was before. To this day, I still don’t know how that happened.” (Jan Ullrich on his suspension shortly before the 2006 Tour de France)
Ullrich is the first and only German to have won the Tour de France
At just twenty-three years old, Jan Ullrich was one of the youngest winners of the Tour de France
In Ullrich’s adopted home of Merdingen, a street is named after him
|Estimated value:||€9.5 million|