Udo Bölts (born 10 August 1966) is a retired German racing cyclist. Bölts was born in Heltersberg and began his professional career in 1989 with Stuttgart–Merckx–Gonsor, from which Team Telekom was formed in 1991.
From 1992 to 2003, Bölts took part in 12 consecutive Tours de France, arriving in Paris on every occasion, both of which feats are German records. These records have since been surpassed by Jens Voigt. His best placing in the hardest stage race in the world was in 1994 when he was ninth. In 1996 and 1997, he was an important helper of teammates and eventual winners of the Tour, Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich. During the 1997 Tour, he was noted for the words he shouted to Ullrich when the latter was about to crack: Quäl dich, du Sau! (force yourself, you sod!). After Bölts had taken part in the Ironman Hawaii event with little preparation, his team chief of many years, Walter Godefroot, said: “Bölts is strong, he never breaks down”.
Some of his victories include three German road national titles (1990, 1995, and 1999), the Clásica de San Sebastián in 1996, or a stage win at the 1992 Giro d’Italia. He also is the only German rider to have won the Dauphiné Libéré, which he did in 1997, a year in which he was also fourth in the World Cycling Championships.
For his last season as a professional, Bölts moved to Gerolsteiner. After he retired in 2004, he became one of the team’s directeurs sportif and was responsible for race preparations, strategies, and contacts with other teams and cyclists. During the Tour de France 2006, he was an assistant commentator for the German TV channel ZDF.
In the wake of the 2007, Team T-Mobile scandal Bölts confessed publicly on 23 May, having used EPO and growth hormones in preparation for the Tour the France 1996, continuing with the practice in 1997. In consequence of this Bölts resigned as the sports director of Gerolsteiner on 24 May 2007.
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