Ullrich Coasts To New Ride
Looks like Coast and Jan Ullrich are a done deal as reported today on his web site.
The deal is worth millions. The term is multi year, and it allows him to bring his entourage with him, including “his” director (sort that out for me if you can…) his handler, mech etc. But this deal is as sturdy as a drunk duck on a frozen lake…
Team Coast owes several riders quite a bit of money, and as likable as is Marcel Wust (the last Polkadot jersey to win a true bunch sprint) is, he needs a gut check after claiming that unattained performance clauses (in at least one case of three) were to blame, only to recant (they just weren’t paid). Wust also is said to have claimed that the rider needed to send in an invoice for the paycheck which, if it weren’t such obvious Crap would be doubtful as an excuse because the team paid the riders without being invoiced all year till the checks stopped coming. Of course the stars like Casero and Zulle got paid…
Rumor had it that Jan would bring sponsorship with him that would make paying these riders possible but the big question is, where in the hell are the UCI in all this? Frank Hoj was reported to have asked the UCI for help only to have them tell him to “sort things out myself”! There we go again, with the guys paying the dues getting told to hack off.
A UCI team is required to provide a bank note for things like this, and the UCI always seems to look the other way for months on end. It would be no big deal if we were talking about a guy like Ullrich who should be able to afford a few months without pay, but putting grinders like Hij and Michelson through it is deplorable. I still think the UCI should be forced to change it’s name to the USI, as it clearly and repeatedly supports sponsors over Cyclists.
The other crack forming in the ice (very close to the drunk duck) may run directly through Ullrich’s knee. His Doctors told him, in the last day or two, that he could not stress his knee any more or work any harder on it. This is no small detail as historically, Ullrich has done less work in December and January than an orange picker in Fargo, and the fact that he can’t make the transition from base miles to any kind of intensity is a little bit of a factor.
The concentration here should be on the moral fiber at Team Coast though. They’re willing to toss millions at what could be a one legged man coming off 10 months of diddly, but can’t seem to come up with a few thousand to pay the guys who worked their guts out last year for them.