The Spy Speaks: The UCI’s Increasing Controls on Mechanical Doping in Professional Cycling

The Spy Speaks: The UCI’s Increasing Controls on Mechanical Doping in Professional Cycling

After the fastest Giro of all time, we listen to the spy again. What about the engines now? Why is the UCI increasing controls? And have new gadgets been brought onto the market by bicycle manufacturers?

“You would sometimes think that Tadej Pogacar drives a moped, but unfortunately that is not the case.”

“In the peloton there is never really any talk about motorcycles.”

“I have seen the crazy story from a French amateur race. A 53-year-old rider fled to his van when the organization wanted to check him on a motorcycle. After which the race director lay on the hood of the van for 100 meters.”

In a certain stage race I was checked every day.

Spy in the platoon

“We have not yet seen such Western scenes in the professional peloton. But I do notice that we are being checked a lot for motorcycles this year.”

“Until last year, the inspector came to scan our bikes every 3 races with his tablet. This year we had him visit us in almost every classic.”

“In a certain stage race I was even checked every day. The mechanics then eagerly share photos on Snapchat.”

“If an alarm goes off during the tablet check, the bicycle is opened. But I have never been able to see that with my own eyes.”

Pipos who accuse riders of having motorcycles

“To date, no one in the professional peloton has been caught with a motorcycle. I honestly think that it will be impossible to ride around with a motorcycle in 2024.”

“Every so often you have some idiot, like Jérôme Pineau, who says that riders use motors.”

“But I don’t know how you as a rider would imagine something like that and how you would get away with it in these times full of checks.”

“In the period 2008-2013, stories occasionally emerged about motorcycles in the peloton.”

“I believe that there were actually riders riding around with a motor in their bike.”

“But after the rumors about a motor at Cancellara, the UCI took action to detect mechanical fraud. This does not mean that Cancellara actually used a motor.”

Competition among bicycle manufacturers

“You can of course ask yourself what constitutes mechanical doping.”

“Everyone is looking for ways to drive faster in a legal way. But who dares to color outside the lines in that race?”

“Bicycle manufacturers compete with each other to bring the fastest and most aerodynamic bicycle to the market. I find it difficult to imagine that a bicycle brand is looking for illegal ways to design a faster bicycle.”

A few weeks ago, the UCI pushed the accelerator in the fight against mechanical doping.

Spy in the platoon

“There was already talk about electromagnetic wheels a few years ago. An electromagnetic field is generated, which provides an advantage of up to 60 watts. But the UCI also carries out checks on this.”

“The UCI has pushed the accelerator even harder in recent weeks.”

“In recent years, the fight against mechanical doping has been one of Michael Rogers’ many tasks.”

“But Rogers has recently been pushed aside and an American ex-investigator has been brought in. He is dedicated to detecting technological fraud.”

“There are certainly reasons why the UCI is now dedicating a full-time job to that task.”

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