Telekom cycling soigneur to detail Ullrich’s doping

Former Team Telekom soigneur, Belgian Jef d'Hont, is set to release a second book in November which will include further details on the doping practises of Jan Ullrich.

“I do not understand: why he (Ullrich) didn’t confess how it really was, like the others did in the Telekom team? Everyone doped,” Hont told German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “In my next book, there will be a lot of information on Ullrich.”

In d’Hont’s first book – “Memories of a Soigneur” – which was published last spring, the Belgian revealed the Telekom team – which dominated the Tour de France in 1996 and 1997 – had extensively used banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Former Telekom riders Bjarne Riis, in 1996, and Ullrich, 1997, won the Tour de France, but while Riis admitted using EPO during the period, the German has kept silent.

“Before the publication of my first book, Ullrich’s adviser Rudy Pevenage begged me not to say anything, because they wanted to say what happened in their own time. “I held my promise, they didn’t.”

After the publication of his first book, a string of former Telekom cyclists including Riis and Erik Zabel admitted to using EPO, but Ullrich has stayed silent on the matter since retiring in February 2007.


VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.


In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.