Sunday, July 10, 2005

A love letter to the man in the pink jersey

Dear Jan Ullrich,

You don’t know me but I’ve been watching you for years. I stay up late at night obsessively following your every move. Seeing you fly up those mountains makes my pulse race.

Lance Armstrong is the golden boy and you’re the underdog. My heart, therefore, automatically belongs to you.

Lance may be a god but you’re a kindred spirit -- always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Well, technically you did win the Tour de France once but that would wreck the metaphor ("a bride once, a bridesmaid five times after that").

Plus, we’re the exact same age (31). I checked your website to see if we had anything else in common but your site is in German and I can’t read German.

The stuff other people say about you isn’t very nice. They say you’re too old. They say you’re overweight and out of shape. They say you’re the most overrated cyclist in the world, the "eternal second."

A lot of people turned their backs on you when you tested positive for ecstasy in 2002. I thought it was unfair the way they lumped you in with the cheaters who pump their bodies full of steroids, EPO and growth hormones.

It’s punishment enough that you are forced to spend the entire month of July wearing the ugliest team uniform in the Tour. Pink helmet, pink jersey, pink gloves, pink bike. What’s that all about anyway?

But all of it just makes me like you more. I don’t care if you win or lose. Just giv'r.

Love, Sarah

p.s. I found this picture of you with some half-naked guy on the Internet and wanted to let you know that I’d play doctor with you anytime.