ULLRICH Jan (1973) Germany / Cycling
The first German cyclist to have won the Tour de France in 1997, Jan Ullrich, from ex-East Germany has today become one of the best in professional cycling.At the Sydney games, he gave his opponents a big surprise. Whilst taking part in the "La Vuelta" (the tour of Spain) that he won the previous year, he made the decision to withdraw from the race to prepare for the Olympics and in particular the time-trial, event for which he is the current world champion. Yet it was in the road race that he scored an unexpected victory, even for himself, beating Kazakhstan's Vinokourov. Several days later, relieved of all pressure, he lined up for the time-trial, but probably lacking motivation he ceded first place to Russia's Ekimov.However, with a gold and silver medal, Ullrich showed himself to be the best road cyclist at the millennium games, a worthy consolation.