Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal has hit back at claims that the bike he was using when he crashed on Stage 7 of the Vuelta a Espana last week had a concealed motor on board.
Yesterday, we reported how video showing the rear wheel continuing to spin as he lay on the ground had let some to assume that he was getting mechanical assistance – and we explained why that was unlikely to be the case.
In a TV interview conducted outside the team bus, the Canadian said: “I saw some of the headlines and various news agencies. I think it’s kind of ridiculous. It’s almost not even worth talking about but I’ll stand here and answer the questions.”
Asked to confirm that he did not have an engine in his bike, he laughed and said: “No… clearly not otherwise I probably would have used it to get back up to the front of the race after.
Yeah it is what it is… the back wheel’s still spinning because I was on the ground, it caught the ground and it took off a little bit.
“I think it’s funny in itself that they would even say that because even an assisted bike, it’s the crank that’s assisted so if the crank’s not moving and the rear wheel’s spinning, that’s not possible to help it. It’s not something that can do that to a bike.
“We laugh [about it], it’s funny, but I also think it’s not that funny that news agencies put that kind of stuff out there, that’s not right.
“I don’t think it’s damaging because it’s completely ridiculous but we’ve got enough things to worry about… It’s just sad that that’s something they need to put out there.”
Hesjedal’s former team mate at Garmin-Sharp, Alex Rasmussen, shows in this video how the rear wheel could have spun the bike round after the crash.
As the allegations of mechanical assistance spread on social media yesterday, Hesjedal’s manager at Garmin-Sharp, Jonathan Vaughters, tweeted:
Wanted: bicycle mechanic w electrical engineering and/or jet propulsion PhD. Highly confidential work. Must speak fluent Canadian.
— Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) September 4, 2014
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.