Jan Ullrich opens up about the toughest comeback of his life

"I was in the same way as Marco Pantani ... nearly dead."

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For the first time since mid 2018 Jan Ullrich has made a public appearance – and this time under far more positive circumstances, making an appearance on Lance Armstrong’s The Move podcast (embedded above).

Armstrong, along with George Hincapie and Johan Bruyneel, was on the Spanish island of Mallorca for a holiday that coincided with the World Championships when Ullrich appeared on The Move podcast. There, he spoke about his struggles – which included a drink driving charge and two physical assaults, one on a sex worker – and his recovery from addiction.

“Three years ago I had big problems,” Ullrich said. “And you come and visit me. I was so happy you come and yeah, I was in the same way as Marco Pantani. Nearly dead. And then I recovery and I have good friends,” referring to Armstrong, Bruyneel, and others. “Now I’m very happy”

The 47-year-old German, who won the 1997 Tour de France but was dubbed the ‘eternal second’ behind Lance Armstrong, appeared healthy and in good spirits.

“I forget for a long time what is good for me,” Ullrich continued. “All I remember is 20 years ago, or 15 years ago. Then I forget what is good for me. Cycling is good. Hanging out with friends.  Love. My kids, my family. All this – I forget this. That was my problem.”

Lance Armstrong flew to Ullrich’s home in Mallorca in August of 2018 to support his former rival after he was arrested and admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Armstrong has spoken fondly of Ullrich publicly many times, saying that he was the only competitor who got him up in the morning. “You drastically changed my life. You challenged me as a man,” Armstrong said in the podcast.

Ullrich says that he is back riding and healthy again. “God give me this body and God give me this talent. I’m nothing or full gas. I have my coach for my back muscles.  I train every day. I drink water. I stop alcohol and drugs three years ago. I live very healthy, my girlfriend cooking very healthy for me. And this all together brings me in very good shape and good feeling.”

“I have good friends and a good team at home. I’m not alone and that’s important. I needed help, and now I have the help.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.