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
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.