Testing every race bike for hidden horsepower?


International Cycling Union president Brian Cookson said on Tuesday his organization will leave no stone unturned in the bid to rid the sport of cheats. Speaking during a visit to Doha where the Tour of Qatar is ongoing, Briton Cookson said the UCI would even consider expanding the tests for motorized bicycles if need be.

“If we need to go to a situation where every bike has to be pre-examined before a race, including the bikes on the team cars, then maybe this is something that we have to look at,” he said. “We have much better technology now to check whether there are any suspicious signs and then we can do the more invasive tests to prove it one way or another.”

The issue of motorized bicycles — or technological doping as it is sometimes called — has come to the fore since Belgian rider Femke Van Den Driessche’s bike at the recent cyclocross world championships was found to have a hidden motor.

Cookson, who was checking out facilities in Doha ahead of the world road race championships in the desert city in October, said he could not comment specifically on that case but insisted the UCI is doing everything it can to weed out the cheats.

“They’ve been looking everywhere. Please don’t delude yourself that we haven’t been taking this seriously,” he said.  “What we’ve been trying to do is to trial and develop equipment that will be easier to use and will allow us to scan more bikes, more quickly and at more races.”

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