UCI commissaries were out checking bikes for hidden motors this weekend at Omloop Het NIeuwsblad in Belgium, reportedly scrutinising dozens of bikes from competitors in both the men’s and women’s editions of the Belgian race that kicks off the cobbled Classics season.
This video from Dutch UCI WorldTour team LottoNL-Jumbo shows how a commissaire, using a tablet computer linked to a bespoke app developed or the governing body, scans a bike.
Fietsmotor controle voor de start van Omloop het Nieuwsblad.+++++Bike motor check at the start of Omloop het Nieuwsblad.Posted by Team Lotto NL Jumbo Cycling on Saturday, 27 February 2016
As we reported last week, the Belgian cycling federation had been planning to invest up to €50,000 in its own scanning technology, but it seems the UCI will be carrying out random checks at races throughout 2016.
Philippe Marien of the UCI told the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: ”With an iPad we can measure the cycling of magnetic waves. We use it on a scale of 1 to 10.
“At the lowest end of the scale, there is nothing to worry about.
“As soon as a 10 is registered, there is something wrong, so a further check is carried out and the bike taken apart,” he added.
He said the UCI is keen to push the technology further and is in discussions with companies developing more advanced ways of combating technological fraud.
Rumours of riders cheating by using concealed motors in their frames had been around for several years, but the discovery of one hidden inside a bike prepped for Belgian under-23 rider Femke Van den Driessche at the recent UCI World Cyclo-Cross Championships is the first time one has been found in competition.
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.