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.
— Team KATUSHA (@katushacycling) July 15, 2016
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.”