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UCI using X-ray machines to check for hidden motors at Tour de France

Magnetic wave scanning technology and a thermal imaging camera are also being employed

In the latest attempt to prevent mechanical doping, stage 13 of this year’s Tour de France saw the UCI checking riders’ time trial bikes for hidden motors using an X-ray machine.

Magnetic wave scanning technology has been deployed since the start of the year and the Tour has also seen a thermal imaging camera mounted on a motorbike used while the race is in progress. Now, it seems, there is a further check.

Team Katusha tweeted photos of Ilnur Zakarin’s bike being X-rayed after the stage.


Speaking on the first rest day, Team Sky’s Sir Dave Brailsford expressed his belief that no-one would attempt to make use of a hidden motor precisely because of the ease with which one could be detected.

“If someone is stupid enough to come here with a motor in their bike for sure they will get caught,” he said. “Finding an engine in a bike is a pretty simple thing to do in this day and age. The technology used to beam the television pictures up to the satellite is a lot more complex, and used on a day-to-day basis, than finding a bloody motor in a bike.”


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