dpa / After being inactive for over a year in Germany, Jan-Ulrich decided to attend the E-class race at this year’s Saiko event of the Tour de Japon. When the race started, the sky was a full blue and the road surface had almost completely dried up, perfect conditions for fast two laps at this 10 km round course around the lake of Saiko. Against strong contenders from Japan as well as from the French NFCC team, Jan-Ulrich controlled the peloton from behind and managed to stay with the field until the sharp corner at the 15 km mark. When he start to accelerate hard out of the saddle after the curve, his rear wheel blocked and he flew right over his bike on the road. Three other riders were also caught in the crash, but all of them managed to continue the race after a short break.
It later turned out that the rear wheel has not been fixed securely in place as the tension device of the TUNE spanner has dropped over time. The rear wheel then jumped against the seatstay and blocked. Accelerating Jan-Ulrich virtually catapulted over his bike when he couldn’t stop his feet movements.
He then proceed to the next first aid station, where he got some band aid and bandages – his orange jersey has been ripped to pieces. „I was lucky not to broke my two wrists when I tried to dampen the impact to fall on the road.“ he said later. Also he was lucky that none other rider rode over him.
He then completed the race, stopped on the way to chat with some supporters from Ireland and finished last in dismayal 44 minutes.
Three days later he seems to be on the road to recovery, although every move still hurts. „First I didn’t felt any pain as I was still under shock and I could even enjoy the Milky Way Race. But driving home was already very painful and I still can’t move properly. I guess my comeback is over.“