According to Bild and as reported by Sky Sport Italy, Jan Ullrich, winner of the Tour del France in 1997, would have been hospitalized due to a strong addiction to alcohol and drugs. Ullrich would be taken to a specialized clinic in Mexico, awaiting transfer to Switzerland.
According to the German newspaper, the German relapsed after a trip to Cuba, where he celebrated his birthday. Due to this addiction, as Bild reports, the cyclist would also have broken up with his girlfriend Elizabeth Napoles.
Ullrich would have received a visit to Mexico from Lance Armstrong, a former colleague and rival in the late nineties and early 2000s editions of the Tour de France.
The victory in the Tour de France
In 1997, after winning the German Championship in line and the important stage of Kandersteg at the Tour of Switzerland, in which he finished third in the final classification behind Christophe Agnolutto and Oscar Camenzind, he won the Tour de France, first German history, and on the podium in Paris precedes the then rivals Richard Virenque and Marco Pantani.
Although the captain for this Tour de France was also Riis, Ullrich immediately shows himself to be the strongest; he touches the yellow jersey already in the Rouen prologue, where he is beaten for just 1.82 seconds by specialist Chris Boardman.
He confines himself to following his rivals Richard Virenque and Marco Pantani in the first Pyrenean stage with arrival in Loudenvielle, while in the stage with an uphill finish in Andorra-Arcalís, the now former captain Riis gives him the green light towards the stage success.
The German thus manages to detach Pantani and Virenque by one minute and eight seconds with a remarkable performance by winning the yellow jersey. In the time trial of Saint-Étienne he therefore puts the seal on the Tour by detaching all the major opponents by more than three minutes.
On the Alps, Ullrich limits himself to containing the attacks of Pantani, who will win the stages of Alpe d'Huez and Morzine, and of Virenque, who will win the stage of Courchevel, and arrives in Paris with a heavy advantage: more than 9 minutes on French and more than 14 on Italian.
The overwhelming victory he achieved, with both uphill and time trial dominance, make insiders think that cycling has found its new master after Miguel Indurain's retirement and many predict that the German will be the first rider to win.
six times the French stage race. The subsequent victories in the Hamburg Classic, in the Luk-Cup Bühl and the second place in the Zurich Championship behind Davide Rebellin show that Ullrich is able to go fast even in one-day races and is thinking of a new cannibal. At the end of the year he won the first edition of the Fausto Coppi-Bici d'Oro international prize.