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World Sport

Sick Ullrich misses world road bid


story.ullrich.afp.jpg
Feeling the strain. Ullrich wilted under pressure in this year's Tour de France.

BERLIN, Gemany -- Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich's dismal season was capped on Wednesday when he was forced to pull out of the world cycling championships in Italy because of a stomach virus.

German Ullrich, who had earlier withdrawn from the time trial in Bardolino, will not take part in Sunday's road race in Verona either.

"He will not compete," Ullrich's adviser, Rudy Pevenage, told German sports news agency SID. "It's impossible. He is too weak."

Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner and twice a world time trial champion, was looking forward to the world championships to try to salvage a lackluster year.

The 30-year-old finished fourth in this year's Tour de France after being touted as the main challenger to six-times winner Lance Armstrong.

The T-Mobile star was then out of the medals at the Athens Olympics where he was defending his road race championship from the Sydney Games.

He has never won the world road title, although he has twice won the time trial championship in 1999 and 2001.

There was some good news for Ullrich on Wendesday as a tribunal decided he was due around 1.6 million euros compensation from his former team Coast.

Ullrich signed a three-year contract with German team Coast in January 2003 but the relationship lasted until May of the same year with the Coast team failing to meet payments on time.



Reuters contributed to this report.

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