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Alessandro Andreoli says he can't remember who sold him the bike, his back is better, and he had a wedding to go to...

The Italian amateur cyclist alleged to have ridden a bike with a concealed motor at a race in Lombardy at the weekend has said that he couldn't hang around for officials to check it because he had a wedding to go to and that his improved performances in recent months are down to his recovery from a back injury. He also said he couldn't remember who sold him the bike, and raised suspicions on the riders who beat him at the race.

As we reported yesterday, a bike belonging to 53-year-old Alessandro Andreoli was among those checked at a race near Brescia on Saturday in which he finished third. Riders had been warned beforehand that the bikes of the first five finishers would be tested afterwards due to rumours that some riders in the region were using illegal mechanical assistance.

> Amateur cyclist in Italy caught using hidden motor during race

Race organisers had borrowed thermal imaging equipment that they said led to the discovery of a motor concealed in the seat post of his bike. It was reported that after agreeing to have the frame examined by a mechanic to ascertain whether there indeed was a motor hidden within it, he then made off, saying he would "suspend myself."

But speaking to Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, he maintained his innocence and came out with a string of excuses.

He said he’d bought the bike in the Tuscan seaside town of Forte dei Marmi from a stranger.

“I don’t remember his name or even his telephone number,” he claimed. “We met in the street, I liked the bike, I made him an offer, and bought it.”

Asked why he didn’t accompany the race judges to have the bike checked out, he said that he was running late for a wedding.

When the newspaper questioned him about the improvement in his performances in recent months, he said: “I had a bad back. Now it’s cured, and I’m training well.”

The Gazzetta dello Sport asked him if he could explain why he had been excluded from the result of the race.

“Um .. I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe because they say I had a motor? So also, the riders who finished with me had a motor. I saw lots of them who were in front of me who weren’t having to make much of an effort.”

The president of the Costa Volpino team that Andreoli was riding for didn’t mince his words, however.

Alfio Bettoni runs a bike shop founded by his father in 1974, and said: “We’ve always been honest and followed the law, we’re honest business and sports people.

“Andreoli used to be a good customer, but since he got this bike a few months ago, we’ve not seen him.”

He said that when he spoke to Andreoli after news of the alleged hidden motor broke, the rider “denied everything.”

He added that Andreoli called him later, asking him if he was worried. “Nothing’s happened that concerns you,” he was told. “It’s solely my fault.”

Bettoni said: “He took me for a total idiot. This morning [ie Monday] my lawyer is back from holiday and I will go straight to him.”

Initial reports were that the bike was from the Argon 18 brand, but the company has said that after studying photos, the geometry does not match any of its models and that decals purporting it to be one of its bikes have been added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

23 comments

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Al__S [1246 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

amazing scenes. Next he'll be claiming his son is actually his nephew

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maviczap [72 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

Mama packa da bag  1

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pablo [189 posts] 1 month ago
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Haha amazing how you could say that with a straight face brilliant!

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kieren_lon [45 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Seems like a legit, well thought out excuse.   Clearly finished fast as he was in a rush to get to the wedding on time.  The un-named street seller probably forced him to buy it.

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burtthebike [1037 posts] 1 month ago
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Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

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racyrich [294 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

 

Just you. I'm pretty sure people were lying pre-Trump.

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brooksby [2507 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Quote:

"Italian amateur accused of motor doping has a string of excuses ... Alessandro Andreoli says he can't remember who sold him the bike, his back is better, and he had a wedding to go to..."

You know, the whole tone of the article implies that you might not think he's telling the complete truth, here...

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kitkat [470 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:

Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

It must be tough going through life equating everything that happens to the political world. Dearest these vegetables are over cooked, much like todays education policy announcment...

Meanwhile, back in the world of cycling. A knock off Argon18 with a motor? Where are these extra photos?

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Broady. [99 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
kitkat wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

It must be tough going through life equating everything that happens to the political world. Dearest these vegetables are over cooked, much like todays education policy announcment...

Meanwhile, back in the world of cycling. A knock off Argon18 with a motor? Where are these extra photos?

 

Here's a pic of the bike in question, Argon 18 w/ DA9150. To be fair it doesn't look like anything in Argons range but I have no idea what it is: //i.imgur.com/pH3ZH5P.jpg)

 

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il sole [81 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

looks like quite a lot of bike to have simply bought off a man on the street!!!

i like the stealth button to activate the motor!!

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fenix [703 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Neat job there. I think I need this bike. Guess I'll have to ride around in Italy until I bump into the mystery seller.

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STiG911 [268 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Best list of excuses since the Blues Brothers

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darrenleroy [246 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

 

Yeah, definitely. And Brexit, or something. 

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Jimmy Ray Will [742 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I hope he gets away with it. 

Authorities should have confiscated the bike at the time. What proof do they have now?

People who cheat are generally not the most honest of folk... therefore it is foolish to expect them to come clean when confronted. 

 

 

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themartincox [553 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

are Argon decals normally straight or with that slight off-centre look to them?

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Yorkshire wallet [1347 posts] 1 month ago
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themartincox wrote:

are Argon decals normally straight or with that slight off-centre look to them?

Electric motor and a replica Argon. Are there no depths to this man's depravity?

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alansmurphy [746 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I hope he gets away with it. 

Authorities should have confiscated the bike at the time. What proof do they have now?

People who cheat are generally not the most honest of folk... therefore it is foolish to expect them to come clean when confronted. 

 

 

 

I don't - surely refusing to have his bike inspected is an admission of guilt, especially if informed beforehand that those finishing in such a place would be tested.

 

Would like to see him receive a standard bike to do the course again, if he can get within 10% of his time then fair play...

 

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burtthebike [1037 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
racyrich wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Is it just me, or is the Trump phenomenon, not forgetting our own glorious leaders of course, giving people permission to lie?  If they can lie bare-faced in front of millions, why shouldn't I?

Just you. I'm pretty sure people were lying pre-Trump.

Undoubtedly, but was it ever this gloriously blatant, practically begging to be found out?

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Neezurt [6 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

The motor doping I can live with... but counterfeiting a brand like Argon18 is unforgiveable! 

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alansmurphy [746 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

It was definitely not this blatant, but i might be lying...

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Neezurt [6 posts] 1 month ago
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kieren_lon wrote:

The un-named street seller probably forced him to buy it.

 

...and the money was handed over in a sealed brown Jiffy bag that had been flown in from Manchester via various European countries...

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Leviathan [2735 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

We met in the street, I liked the bike, I made him an offer, and bought it. It was a great deal. Totally NOT a Russian bike. 

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tsarouxaz [78 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

it's like watching godfather no 4...