‘I’m sure Jan would have beaten Bjarne if he’d been allowed’

—Jens Heppner

‘We never really talked that much. We didn’t need to. That’s the beauty of friendship. Of real teamwork, despite the fact there were seven years between us. That’s what I like to remember.’

A quarter of a century has passed since Bjarne Riis first met Jan Ullrich – a timeframe long enough to define some people’s lives and, in their cases, sufficient for multiple reinventions, both forced and voluntary, between retirements, marriages, divorces, fatherhood and public ignominies causing them to privately unravel.

Twenty-five long years from which, on a Friday afternoon in the spring of 2020, Bjarne Riis says that he would like to retain one thing: that he and Jan Ullrich could not have realized their dreams without each other.

In some ways, it is a pity that theirs was a bond based on actions more than words for, had they ever shared longer, deeper conversations, Riis and Ullrich might have realized they had a lot more in common than just being teammates at Telekom in the 1990s. Like Ullrich, Riis was also raised by only one of his parents and his grandparents. The Dane’s mum and dad divorced when he was a year old, Riis staying with his father while mother and brother went to live in a commune, among other places. Years later, in his grandparents’ home in Herning, Riis saw a photo of another little boy and was suddenly curious. ‘That was your big brother Michael. He drowned,’ the little Bjarne was told. There was no further explanation.

In his case, a fragmented childhood had forged a single-minded, taciturn personality at the antipodes of Ullrich’s. ‘I constantly developed myself and the things around me,’ Riis says. ‘That’s still how I am today: I can’t just let things be. I push people and I think that’s a part of being professional. I know and see that not everyone’s thinking like that but I don’t care, because I believe in these things.’

The Ullrich that Riis slowly got to know after Riis signed for Telekom at the end of 1995 was ‘ambitious, curious’. Later, says Riis, ‘Jan changed.’

In their own ways, Riis and Ullrich would be the sensations of the 1996 cycling summer. They had made their first statements of intent the preceding winter, somewhat out of context – Jan Ullrich in a sauna, and Riis, Telekom’s new big-money signing, a mock cowboy saloon at a theme park.

Telekom’s veteran climber from the Pfalz region, Udo Bölts, had not known quite what to make of Ullrich in 1995. Bölts also cringed when he saw the clearly unwashed bike with which Ullrich had reported back for duty at a training camp in Fuerteventura ahead of what would be his second campaign in magenta and white. But Ullrich made a deeper impression on Bölts when they stepped into the sauna. Bölts stuck it out for barely twenty minutes; Ullrich lasted an hour, most of it spent with his eyes closed, a soupçon of a smile across his lips, on the hottest bench in the house.

It’s possible, of course, that Ullrich was still chuckling to himself after a team gathering a couple of weeks earlier at the Elspe Festival amusement park in the hills of Sauerland, where Walter Godefroot had summoned the media to meet Riis, Telekom’s new leader. A third-place finisher in the 1995 Tour, the thirty-one-year-old had played the solid yeoman for several seasons before morphing into a yellow jersey contender as he moved towards the twilight of his career. What had never changed was his intense, lugubrious disposition – more Nordic noir than Spaghetti Western, even now when Riis was throwing lassos and tossing horseshoes for a tacky photo op.

‘We were in this sort of false saloon bar and we all got sent upstairs while the journalists got their time with Bjarne,’ Rolf Aldag remembers. ‘We were sitting up there, and for whatever reason you would hear what people said through the floorboards. At one point one of the journalists asked Bjarne what he thought about the Tour. “Ja, I think I can win it,” he said. We all had to stop ourselves bursting out laughing, because we knew they could hear us downstairs. We were like, “Er, I’m not sure where you’ve been for the last five years, Bjarne, but Miguel Induráin is still riding. No one is ever going to beat him.” The worst of it was that Bjarne kept saying it, all winter. We’d be like, “Yeah, congratulations, Bjarne. Good one.” It became a running joke in the team. “Ah, you know Bjarne’s going to win the Tour . . .” It was always guaranteed to get a laugh.’

If some at Telekom had doubts about Riis, he had also harboured a few about them upon joining the team from the Italian outfit Gewiss-Ballan. ‘I said to him, “Bjarne, if you’re good, the team will step up with you. There’s Bölts, Heppner, Aldag, who are already competent riders, but if you’re good they’ll go to the next level,” ’ Walter Godefroot remembers. But Riis was initially aghast at some aspects of the reigning culture at Telekom. At one get-together that winter he had looked on in horror as a team dinner descended into a raucous, booze-fuelled food fight. The training was, as far as he was concerned, even worse. ‘I’d do four or five hours but I did my homework – the efforts – whereas these guys were doing seven, eight hours, but it’d take them two more just to find any trace of a sprint or interval on their power files when they analysed them on the computer later. It was just hours, hours, hours with them,’ Riis says now.

Ullrich’s name hadn’t featured in Walter Godefroot’s sales pitch to his new leader, and indeed the Tour de France was not on Ullrich’s race programme. Peter Becker’s hope for the season was that Ullrich could continue his acclimatization to pro racing by targeting short stage-races – a waypoint to loftier goals in future years. Becker’s Hamburg-based amateur team had now folded, meaning that his trips to Merdingen became more frequent. In the spring, Ullrich performed well at the Vuelta Valenciana, Criterium International and the Tour of the Basque Country. He would have done even better, Becker felt, had it not been for illness in March and February. The Telekom directeur sportif who had taken Ullrich under his wing at the Vuelta a España the previous autumn, a Belgian former rider named Rudy Pevenage, also believed he was starting to come of age.

Nothing in Riis’s results, meanwhile, suggested that the teammates who had stifled their giggles in Sauerland would be proven wrong at the Tour. Only with hindsight does Rolf Aldag now look back on the GP Midi Libre in May as a pivotal moment not only in the Telekom’s 1996 season, but also in the team’s history.

And, by extension, as a turning point for Jan Ullrich.

‘You only realized later how Bjarne was changing the culture of the team,’ Aldag says. ‘At the Midi Libre, we hated him so much. I think it took Udo Bölts a long time to forgive him.’ Aldag goes on to paint a picture of Riis using his teammates like sled dogs, verbally whipping them into a seemingly gratuitous 90-kilometre pursuit on a stage in which a breakaway group had cut loose and Telekom had nothing to gain from hunting them down. ‘I was almost crying on the bike,’ Aldag says. ‘We’re all like, “What was that bonehead thinking? Why did he kill us?” ’

Riis didn’t go on to win the Midi Libre or even come close. But, says Aldag, ‘that bonehead’ had reminded his teammates that he was deadly serious about wanting to mix it with Induráin at the Tour.

‘What you then realize is that it doesn’t matter who’s in the front – if you stay together and don’t panic, you’ll catch them. Your whole career you underperform because you never believe, then this guy comes along who’s a strong believer – probably too much – and he changed the nature of the team. We were very defensive, quite pessimistic before that. But Bjarne had caused this shift that was definitely a big factor in what came next, also as far as Jan was concerned . . .’

Riis had experienced an epiphany of his own upon signing for Ariostea in 1992. Cycling was entering a new, scientific age, with Italian teams and, more specifically, their doctors its trailblazers. Upon moving from Ariostea to Gewiss in 1994, he had swapped one such preparatore, Luigi Cecchini, for another, Michele Ferrari, only to switch back to Cecchini after three months. Riis wrote in his autobiography7 that Cecchini played no part in his illegal drug use, whereas Ferrari would eventually receive two life-bans for doping-related offences, one from the Italian Olympic Committee in 2002 and one from the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2012.8 When he joined Telekom, Riis had been using EPO for over a year and brought with him an approach to not just training but also nutrition and what was euphemistically dubbed ‘medical preparation’ that Jens Heppner now describes, through a knowing smile, as ‘very Italian’.

Whatever Heppner is or isn’t implying, rumours about oscillations in Riis’s blood values would one day earn him the nickname ‘Mister Sixty Per Cent’ – a reference to the alleged proportion of red cells in his blood at a time when the average ‘natural’ level was in the low forties, but illegal yet undetectable blood-booster EPO could push the number much higher. The more red cells a rider’s blood contained, the more oxygen could be pumped to his muscles. Riis has always denied going to such extremes – despite finally, years later, conceding that EPO and various other forbidden potions, pills and ointments had indeed become part of his panoply.

At the Tour of Switzerland in June, his final stage-race before the Tour de France, Riis struggled through the first few days with a chest infection but didn’t seem fazed. He announced to his teammates that he would test himself on the queen stage, the alpine blockbuster from Grindelwald to Frauenfeld. But that day he didn’t even make it to the start-line. ‘We only saw him again that night in the hotel,’ Heppner recalls. ‘He told us all goodbye and that he’d see us again at the Tour, which by the way he was going to win. We all just looked at each other in disbelief. But the whole year was like that. A bit . . . strange, shall we say.’

Meanwhile, relieved of his domestique duties by Riis’s withdrawal, Ullrich finished second behind Udo Bölts in Frauenfeld, having sacrificed his chance of a breakthrough victory to man-mark . . . Lance Armstrong. Rudy Pevenage and the team doctor, Lothar Heinrich, had watched Ullrich pounding up the 10 per cent gradients of the Grosse Scheidegg, the climb that brushes past the Eiger’s infamous north face, and gasped. ‘It’s like he’s on a motorbike,’ Pevenage said. Ullrich’s performance was in fact so eye-catching that Pevenage called Walter Godefroot three times over the course of the afternoon. He thought they should take Ullrich to the Tour de France.

Godefroot had experienced a similar eureka moment with Ullrich a few weeks earlier, when the young German had done the job of three men as Telekom rode to set up Erik Zabel in a sprint stage at the Four Days of Dunkirk. This prompted Peter De Clercq of the Lotto team to drop back to the Telekom car and demand to know where Godefroot had found this ‘monster’. Godefroot smiled. Now, though, he reminded Pevenage that Telekom’s nine for the Tour had already been picked. The ‘last’ place was going to Riis’s compatriot, Peter Meinert Nielsen.

It took one more week, and one more masterclass by Ullrich, to change Godefroot’s mind. At the German national championships in the hills south of Stuttgart, Udo Bölts reckoned that Ullrich ‘could have dropped everyone else in the race while picking his nose’. Instead, diplomatically, he let Christian Henn, his Telekom teammate, escape to victory in the closing kilometres. But Ullrich’s reward was a ticket to the Tour – specifically the one previously reserved for Meinert Nielsen.

There could be quibbles with Ullrich’s lack of experience, but not with his talent or his form: in a fitness test at the University of Freiburg before leaving for the Tour, he scored a maximum aerobic power of 560 watts. It was the highest such value the Telekom doctors, Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, had ever seen.

The eighty-third Tour de France was to roll out of ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. For Telekom, the race began when Bjarne Riis put down his knife and fork and stood up midway through the team dinner on the eve of the race. Riis had finally found some form at the Danish national championships a week earlier, winning both the road race and the time trial, but Telekom also had a sprinter, Erik Zabel, whose two stage wins in 1995 had effectively secured their future. How the remainder of the team would share or divide roles was still moot – which was why Riis now decided to meet the issue head-on.

His compatriot, friend and domestique Brian Holm was listening. And, soon, wincing.

‘He got up and basically said – again – that he could win the Tour,’ Holm remembers. ‘I knew Bjarne well, trained with him, and when I heard that I was thinking, Oh, get fucked, Bjarne. Why the fuck have you said that? My toes were curling. I hoped that he’d fall off and break his collarbone, because, to be honest, I thought we’d be wasting our time working for him. There were these two big groups in the team, one Erik’s gang and one for Bjarne, and the two groups hardly talked to each other. It wasn’t one big happy family. The only guy not in either group was Jan; they just told him to go as far as he could.’

Riis says now he ‘wasn’t really aware’ of how little faith his team still had in him and wouldn’t have cared even if he had. ‘Because I believed in myself. Also, what was that going to change for me? Yeah, of course, in terms of them working for me, but it just meant I had to prove them wrong.’

Despite the misgivings, the Tour started well for Telekom, with Zabel sprinting to a stage win on day four. Riis’s first major test would come four days later in the Alps, where most pundits had forecast two scenarios: one, the same script as the previous five Tours, all of which Miguel Induráin had won by asphyxiating or at least frustrating his rivals uphill and decimating them in time trials; or the much more remote possibility of the rider who had robbed Induráin of his world hour record at the end of 1994, Tony Rominger, now toppling the Spaniard in France.

What transpired was a stage peppered with dramas but transcended by one – Induráin cracking for the first time since his dominion at the Tour had been established in 1991. Rominger finished the stage in second and moved up to third on general classification, encircled by other pretenders to the seemingly now vacant throne. They included Bjarne Riis, who had been brilliantly assisted by the second youngest rider in the race, a twenty-two-year-old rookie named Jan Ullrich.

Two days later, again chauffeured by Ullrich, Riis staked his claim as Induráin’s successor by winning at Sestriere and taking yellow. Ullrich himself climbed to fifth overall, just over a minute-and-a-half behind.

Slowly, Germans still revelling in the national football team’s victory in Euro 96 a week earlier were beginning to take notice. Ullrich was also starting to enjoy himself. The German national coach, Peter Weibel, had given him an ultimatum – go to the Tour and he would be taking himself out of contention for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Now, Ullrich was certain he had made the right decision. His choice had also proved financially astute, for on the first rest day, Wolfgang Strohband met Walter Godefroot to discuss a contract renewal that, when it was finally signed a few weeks later, would raise Ullrich’s salary from 150,000 deutsche marks a year to over 600,000.

Jens Heppner remembers Ullrich signing the deal, but also that soliciting advice about bonus clauses and tax brackets was not exactly his room-mate’s idea of pillow talk. ‘His favourite topics of conversation were cars, women and cycling, although he didn’t dwell too much on the racing itself. Unlike Bjarne, he wasn’t spending his time going over power files or training logs on the computer. I used to try to get him to open a computer and go over some stuff but he was never interested; he wanted to be left in peace.’ If Riis’s millimetric nit-picking over gear ratios and saddle height could drive his team mechanics to distraction, Ullrich typically issued one instruction: ‘I’ll have the same as Bjarne.’

‘At first he was quite curious, then I think he sort of learned, “Ach, Bjarne knows everything, Bjarne’s thinking of everything, so I don’t have to,” ’ Riis confirms. ‘It was easy for him but also not the best thing because as a leader and as a young guy you need to learn what you want in your life. That’s part of growing up as an athlete.’

Ullrich was briefly the maillot jaune virtuel when he slipped into a break on a tenth stage eventually won by Zabel. He then crashed after a tangle with a feed bag the following day, but survived that setback and the remaining stages in the Massif Central. On stage sixteen, Riis ordered him to set the pace on the lower slopes of the climb to Hautacam in the Pyrenees, and Ullrich, as usual, obliged. His pacesetting effected a first cull of the lead group while Riis moved up and down the line of his rivals, as though pondering the timing and style of their final execution. Moments later, with seven kilometres to go, he rose out of the saddle like Neptune from an unruly sea and obliterated them, going on to win by nearly a minute and to extend his lead on the overall standings to almost three. ‘I think he wanted to crush us,’ said the Festina rider Laurent Dufaux, one of those who had been, indeed, pulverized.

Ullrich excelled again the next day, the last in the Pyrenees. The stage had been designed as Induráin’s apotheosis, arriving in the five-time winner’s home city of Pamplona, but Ullrich helped turn it into a requiem, justifying what Induráin had said a few days earlier – Ullrich was a future champion. Ullrich now lay second overall, four minutes behind Riis heading into the 63-kilometre individual time trial from Bordeaux to Saint-Émilion on the penultimate day. Induráin had won all bar one of the Tour’s long time trials since 1991 but, here, between row upon row of the world’s most famous vineyards, Ullrich outclassed him. Perhaps even more galling than Ullrich’s fifty-six-second margin of victory over the Spaniard was the nonchalance with which it had been achieved. For years, experts had swooned at the ‘extra-terrestrial’ bike and headgear with which Induráin seemed to enter a different orbit in time trials; here, to the aerodynamicists’ horror, Ullrich had simply pulled on an old cotton racing cap and turned it backwards moments before rolling down the ramp.

So brilliant was Ullrich’s performance that even Riis had appeared vulnerable – more ragged, more tired with every pedal stroke, while Ullrich seemed to be getting stronger. Riis finally conceded almost a minute in the last ten kilometres. This raised the question of how much more road Ullrich would have needed to overhaul the remaining one-minute, forty-one-second gap to the yellow jersey. Riis has always dismissed such conjecture, and Ullrich opined to Peter Becker after the Tour that Riis was simply stronger. But many in his team were confident then – and remain so now – that ten more kilometres might have been fatal. Walter Godefroot, for one, tells me, ‘Jan could have won that Tour. He was stronger.’ Udo Bölts has always concurred, as has Rolf Aldag, with some caveats. ‘A few more days or a few more kilometres in the time trial, Jan would have won the Tour. I think Bjarne got it wrong mentally in that TT – he had such a big lead, so he started easy, like 48 kilometres an hour, then you start losing time, all of a sudden you’re losing a lot, then you want to go faster but you can’t any more, because even forty-eight hurts like hell after three weeks. Everything hurts double and, as strong as Bjarne is in his head, I think he really cracked. Even before that, at Hautacam when he was like, “Send it, Jan. Send it.” . . . If Jan rides his own race there, he wins the Tour. At the same time, I think Bjarne really, really deserved to win because he took the lead and he put everything where it needed to be.’

Heppner, similarly, believes that, although Ullrich had the legs, the debate is complicated by ifs, buts and an epilogue that ultimately worked in Ullrich’s favour.

‘I’m sure Jan would have beaten him if he’d been allowed. I think everyone could see that. Jan was so good, but it probably also helped Jan not to win. Jan was very naive still. Bjarne was a role model and he listened to Bjarne. I think he learned a lot from him about rationing strength and energy over the three weeks. If it had been left to Jan, I think he would have just let rip at the bottom of the first mountain. You could see how economically he’d ridden from his performance in the Saint-Émilion TT. Initially we didn’t know whether he’d ride one or two good mountain stages and then fall apart.’

At Telekom’s victory party in Paris the next day, everyone was at least unanimous in acknowledging that they had been wrong to doubt their team leader. Erik Zabel, who had won two stages, stood up after dinner and apologized to Riis directly for not having believed in him. It was also true that for much of the season and the Tour a section of the Telekom team had not warmed to Riis. There was the day when, according to his masseur Jef D’Hont, he had found a banana in his feed bag and not the ham sandwich that he had requested, and flew into a rage on his return to the team hotel. Riis’s diatribe had prompted D’Hont to retaliate by pushing Riis off his massage table. ‘He was paranoid, chose the people he spoke to. He would hardly look in other people’s direction. He considered himself a general,’ D’Hont wrote years later in his memoir, Memoires van een Wielerverzorger, which also contained many allegations of an altogether more serious nature – about Riis’s doping – some of which Riis corroborated, others he has firmly rebutted.

Heppner also says that Riis cultivated an aloofness that occasionally tipped into arrogance. ‘He pushed us and squeezed us every day, when he should have seen that he needed us and there were times when we should have been saving energy. But it was all the same to him. Jan was totally different.’

There were, it should be said, no complaints about Riis from Ullrich. Riis also thanked his understudy regularly, profusely, and still does today. ‘Jan was super loyal to me, which is why I was also super loyal to him later,’ Riis says. ‘No one could get in between us and change that, although they tried. We never even had to discuss it – it just came naturally.’

After causing Riis a few nervous kilometres in Saint-Émilion, Ullrich looked and sounded almost embarrassed, telling the press he didn’t want the yellow jersey, hadn’t thought about it. Juxtaposed with Riis’s imperious air, his modesty and naivety made him doubly charming. It was only seven years since East Berliners had taken pickaxes to the Wall while fifteen-year-old Ullrich slept in a dorm three kilometres away, and Walter Godefroot now told the media that Telekom’s new prodigy had had to learn not only about professional cycling but the ‘Western World’. When the media probed for finer details of Ullrich’s backstory, Jan told them his mother still lived in Rostock and that he helped her out whenever and however he could. His dad had left them years ago. Where he was now, Ullrich had no idea.

Mum had been at the roadside – or at least somewhere close by, for the emotion at one point got too much – when Ullrich crossed the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. In the evening, she finally embraced her son in the lobby of the Concorde Lafayette, remarking that she had never seen him looking so thin – like ‘skin and bone’ as she put it. Peter Sager, who had travelled with her from Rostock, had to lend Ullrich his belt to stop his trousers falling down at the team’s celebration dinner. Ullrich had never been so light since turning pro – 68 kilograms – and never would be again.

Peter Becker was also in the group of friends and family who had travelled from Rostock and Berlin. Becker noted with pride that Germany’s two best overall results in the Tour had now been to a certain extent ‘made in Berlin’, Ullrich’s second place equalling that of the Berliner Kurt Stöpel in 1932. As far as Becker was concerned, the two performances had also been achieved in the same spirit of noble toil – and Becker said as much to Telekom team doctor Lothar Heinrich when they met on the stairs of the Concorde Lafayette. ‘You did really great work,’ Becker told Heinrich, ‘and I’m especially proud that it was all honest and clean.’

Becker says that, upon hearing this, the doctor ‘stood up five centimetres taller’. Heinrich then snapped, ‘Do you maybe think that I’d risk my medical licence?’

Becker was taken aback by his touchiness. He says he ‘thought about that exchange a lot, later on.’

That Heinrich had detected a non-existent edge to Becker’s compliment was a sign of the times. Just a few weeks after the 1996 Tour, Italian magistrates began investigating claims that, thanks to a tip-off, the teams participating in that year’s Giro d’Italia in May had dodged a major, premeditated drugs bust on their return to Italy after the race start in Greece. Soon, following a trial at the Tour of Switzerland, the UCI was announcing that they intended to roll out a programme of blood tests and a 50 per cent haematocrit limit for the 1997 season – as a measure to protect riders’ health, rather than detect doping. They called it the best, indeed maybe only available deterrent given that the doping substance du jour, EPO, couldn’t be traced in urine tests. Others said it was a licence to dope, to saturate one’s blood with oxygen-delivering red cells up to that 50 per cent threshold.

In Germany, these stories received little airplay. In the final week of the Tour, for the first time, reporters both on the ground and back in the newsrooms of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne were busy asking whether Telekom’s success and Ullrich’s in particular might fuel a cycling ‘boom’ in Germany. Deemed unworthy of fielding a complete team in 1995, one year later Telekom had taken home five stages, the green and yellow jerseys and more prize money than any team in a single edition of the Tour’s history. Cycling was Germany’s second most popular participation sport, yet only twenty-fourth in terms of federation members. In Ullrich, there was now the hope they had found not only the country’s first Tour winner in waiting but also someone who could convert a land of bike-racing agnostics into believers. As the journalist Guido Scholl would observe years later, Ullrich’s kinfolk had ‘instantly adopted him, for his appeal cut across class lines: there was as much about him to like for a manual labourer as there was for a university professor.’

His success in France had also led to the German national team selectors belatedly offering him a place at the Olympics. Ullrich declined and instead stayed at home to ride in and dominate the six-day Regio-Tour. Miguel Induráin had said during the Tour that Germany was effectively ‘throwing away a medal’ by not taking Ullrich to Atlanta; Induráin turned out to be the main beneficiary, winning gold in the time trial – the last major honour in a career that he officially ended the following winter.

It was also time for Ullrich to take a breather. By the time the 1997 Tour route was unveiled in late October, he was looking distinctly fuller of figure, though he reassured journalists that a little winter insulation was nothing new or alarming. ‘It’s just that in the past no one was interested,’ he said, before adding that he had ‘only’ put on eight kilos. Team Telekom had also gained a different kind of ‘weight’, the company’s sponsorship czar, Jürgen Kindervater, having confirmed that their budget in 1997 would climb from seven to ten million deutsche marks. The rise roughly equated with the 31 per cent the 1996 Tour had reportedly added to the company’s brand recognition scores. ‘Success has no price,’ Kindervater declared – and Telekom fully intended to reign again in 1997. Riis would once more be their leader. Never mind that he had stood up at the team dinner in Paris and promised to one day repay Ullrich for his sacrifice.

That winter, Riis would have other concerns, bigger than and unrelated to Telekom’s plans for the following summer. His marriage was about to fall apart and, moreover, a Danish television channel had repeated claims made two years earlier to Der Spiegel by the former Telekom rider Uwe Ampler, according to which Ampler had been unwittingly doped with EPO while at Telekom. It was an old story, though newly relevant, given that Telekom were also-rans in 1994 but had now become cycling’s dominant power.

Riis’s response was that he had heard of EPO but would never use it. ‘He’s an idiot and a liar,’ said his compatriot Brian Holm – of Ampler, not Riis.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at admin@erenow.org. Thank you!