Jan Ullrich

Daniel Friebe

22 June 2023
464 pages


Jan Ullrich: The Best There Never Was is the first biography of Jan Ullrich, arguably the most naturally talented cyclist of his generation, and also one of the most controversial champions of the Tour de France.

'Magnificent' – Matt Dickinson, The Times
'A superlative biography as well as social and sporting history' – Observer

In 1997, Jan Ullrich announced himself to the world by obliterating his rivals at the Tour de France and becoming Germany’s first ever winner. Everyone agreed: Jan Ullrich would dominate the future of cycling. But he never quite managed it.

This is a gripping account of how unbearable expectation, mental and physical fragility, the effects of a complicated childhood, a morally corrupt sport and one individual – Lance Armstrong – can conspire to reroute destiny.

Acclaimed journalist Daniel Friebe takes us from the legacy of East Germany’s drugs programme to the pinnacle of pro cycling and asks: what price are you willing to pay for immortality?

One of the best cycling books there ever was. So well written and such deep research
A beautifully written, vivid portrait
Well written and well researched