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Jan Ullrich visited doping doctor 24 times

Former cycling pro Jan Ullrich visited a notorious doping doctor 24 times during the last three years of his career, according to documents seen by news magazine Der Spiegel.

Jan Ullrich visited doping doctor 24 times
Photo:DPA

The weekly reported that Ullrich, once the brightest star of German cycling and winner of the 1997 Tour de France, visited Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid 24 times between 2003 and 2006. And from February 2005 and May 2006 he saw the doctor eight times.

Ullrich’s then advisor at Team Telekom and T-Mobile Rudy Pevenage organised the flights and himself went to Madrid a total of 15 times between December 2003 and April 2006 to meet with the Spanish doping network, according to detectives from Germany’s federal police.

The magazine said investigators secured the evidence of Ullrich’s trips to Madrid on a computer they seized from Pevenage’s flat during a raid. Although the hard drive had been wiped, experts managed to restore it and extract the data.

Der Spiegel said the Bonn public prosecutor has a more than 2,000-page file on Ullrich, who had been suspected fraud in July 2006. The investigation was dropped in March 2008 after Ullrich paid a fine of €250,000.

The magazine cited from the file, which declares: “In summary, it can be established that the accused, Ullrich, used the doping system of the Spanish doctor Fuentes in order to prepare himself for competition in contravention of his contract by using performance-enhancing ways and methods.”

Ullrich did not speak with the prosecutor, the magazine reported, while Pevenage admitted that the cyclist met Fuentes five or six times between 2004 and 2006, although he said he knew nothing of any blood treatments.

Pevenage said he had been asked by Ullrich to make contact with the doctor because of the cyclist’s problems with his weight. The magazine said investigators found evidence of two payments to Fuentes totalling €80,000.

Ullrich was suspended from the sport for six months in 2002 after a test proved positive for amphetamines while he was recovering from a knee injury. He was also thrown out of Team Telekom.

After that he continued to compete in the Tour de France for various teams, but a string of injuries and health problems dogged his progress there and in other races. In 2006 he and teammate in Team T-Mobile Oscar Sevilla were suspended on suspicion of doping.

The following year he announced his retirement from active sport, deciding to coach an Austrian team.

He has consistently denied any wrong-doing, but bags of his blood were found at the doping doctor Fuentes’ practice in Madrid.

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TRAIN

What are the rules on taking your bike on the train in France?

The French government is keen to encourage cycling and has published a decree relating to bike commuting, but travelling on a train with a bike can still be quite complicated.

What are the rules on taking your bike on the train in France?
Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP

Can I commute with my bike? 

The French government is keen to encourage ‘multimode’ commuting – or people who cycle part of the way to work and take the train or bus for the rest.

On June 10th 2021, it published a decree which makes it mandatory for SNCF train stations and Paris’ RATP stations which have high numbers of passengers to provide secured parking spaces for bikes by 2024. This obligation concerns 1,133 train stations, which represent 37 percent of all train stations in France. 

How can I carry my bike on the train?

When it comes to taking a bike on longer train journeys, the rules vary depending on the type of train you are using. 

You can bring your bike, without having to disassemble it, on every TER (regional train) for free and without having to make a reservation, but keep in mind that space is limited. Since March 2021, every new trains or trains that are being renovated must have at least 8 spaces for bikes on board. 

Some TGVs (high-speed trains) and most Intercités (non high-speed national trains) offer a possibility to take your bike aboard, and in those where you can, you must make a reservation online or at the train station when you buy your ticket. 

THIS MAP allows you to check all the main long distance train lines that allow bikes on board.

When to take the train with your bike? 

In TERs, spaces for bikes are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be booked, therefore it’s better not to travel during rush hours. 

You’ll find special information about when and how to travel with your bike on TGVs and Intercités on the SNCF website. 

How to reserve a spot for your bike?

For TERs, making a reservation is not possible. 

For TGVs and Intercités, if you want to travel with an assembled bike, you must make a reservation for a dedicated spot when you buy your ticket on the website Oui.sncf . The price to add a bike on a TGV starts from 10€ and from 5€ on an Intercités. Adding a bike after you bought your ticket is not possible. 

Also, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to reserve a space for your bike when you  make a reservation from your phone on the app Oui.sncf. You can add a bike from your phone with the app Trainline

How to carry a disassembled bike?

You can carry your bike in every SNCF trains as long as it is disassembled in a bag which dimensions doesn’t exceed 90x120cm. In this case, it is considered hand luggage. 

Are trailers, tandems and cargo bikes allowed? 

Only regular bikes are accepted on trains. Carrying recumbent bikes, tricycles, tandems or trailers is not allowed. Only one train makes an exception during summer: the train Loire à Vélo, a train that goes from Nevers in the Center of France to the Atlantic Coast

Special info and tips if you want to travel by train with your bike this summer 

On the line Bretagne / TER : From June 7th to September 30th 2021, making a reservation for your bike to travel on a TER in the Bretagne région is mandatory. You will have to pay 3€ per bike and you can only reserve a ticket that includes a bike on the website

Travelling with the Train Loire à Vélo : This train that goes from the city of Orléans to Le Croisic on the Atlantic Coast is back on track. The ride is free and you don’t have to make a reservation for your bike. 

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine / La Vélodyssée service : In the Nouvelle Aquitaine region which includes Bordeaux and Biarritz, a special TER service with bikes allowed will be working from mid-July to August 2021. It will be free and without reservation, you can find some info on this map

On the line ViaRhôna / TER Lyon – Avignon : From July 3rd to September 19th, it will be possible to travel between the cities of Lyon and Avignon by train with your bike but only during week-ends and bank holidays. You must make a reservation and the price per bike will be of 3€.

La Véloscénie :  is a special itinerary for people who want to cycle between Paris and the Mont Saint-Michel and visit different places along the journey. From May to September the line from Paris to Pontorson Mont Saint-Michel embarks your bikes for free. 

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