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Vincenzo Nibali motor doping accusations lead to Astana threatening legal action

Pro tour team Astana has threatened legal action over claims that post-crash video footage shows Nibali's spinning wheel...

Pro tour team Astana have threatened legal action while quashing claims that footage of Italian cyclist Vincenzo Nibali's stage 19 Tour de France crash suggested the rider was motor doping.

The incident, which took place on a wet descent as Nibali and race leader Chris Froome were chasing down a pack of GC contenders, was caught on camera by a race helicopter.

>Fresh 'motor doping' claims surround Ryder Hesjedal in 2014 Vuelta

Footage shows Nibali's wheel spinning after the crash, which is where the motor doping claims have come from.

Astana were quick to issue a press release in which they emphasised their right to take legal action "in case someone will to threaten the image of the Team or of the athlete." The team were also quick to highlight their compliance with race officials, as well as the multiple instances in which their riders were subject to UCI motor doping checks.

>Video: Movistar rider's time trial crash leads to fresh motor doping speculation

The statement published on the Astana Pro Team website read:

"In relation with the suspects about the Vincenzo Nibali's rear wheel rotation during his fall in today's stage at Tour de France, the Astana Pro Team informs that during the three weeks of race we have been subjected to the UCI checks daily, always resulting perfectly in order.

"The Astana Pro Team and Vincenzo Nibali reserve the right to take legal action in case someone will to threaten the image of the Team or of the athlete."

The UCI have been using thermal imaging devices, among other unprecedented measures, at the year's Tour de France to combat the risk of riders using illegal motors to boost performance.

Motor doping came into the spotlight in January this year when Belgian rider Femke Van den Driesshe was caught using a motor at the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

Since then the UCI has been on red alert, introducing a number of measures - including using tablet computers to search for motors - across ability groups, age groups and disciplines.

Top riders at this year's race have been subject to motor checks, which have apparently been made on four separate occasions; with UCI commissaires checking Chris Froome's bike for a motor after yesterday's stage.

Froome told Cycling News, though, that he was "happy they're doing the checks."

“Yes my bike was checked," the two-time Tour de France winner said. "But I’m happy they’re doing the checks. They’re probably needed considering all the rumours out there.

“I think most of the suspicion is on social media but they don’t come from nowhere, the technology exists.”

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16 comments

Avatar
Dr Madvibe | 7 years ago
0 likes

And then it starts to act like a gyroscope which means you can ride along at an angle without falling off.

I think that's how it works.

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fenix | 7 years ago
2 likes

Ffs.

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UberEclectic | 7 years ago
0 likes

Please...  This is the same old ignorant B.S. as prior times that a wheel kept spinning after a crash.  There is NOTHING to it.   See here, where I demonstrated with my own pro-class bike that it is quite normal for a wheel to keep spinning, simply because of inertia / momentum.  And on a high-end bike the forces of friction are so low, the wheel can spin a very long time on its own.
Pro Cycling Demonstration:  Spin-down of High-end Wheel/Hub:Group Set
https://youtu.be/cEVsoULD5Xc

Avatar
bdsl | 8 years ago
2 likes

It seems to be road.cc policy to included an image with every article, whether or not any actual relevant image is available. Perhaps a symptom of a website set up that isn't as flexible as it could be. Even so, a picture of Nibali might be better.

Avatar
Dr_Death | 8 years ago
7 likes

Something in motion has conserved its motion.... There ought to be some sort of law against that...

 

oh

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mike the bike | 8 years ago
4 likes

 

Surely a motor spins the cranks, not the wheel?

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kevinmorice replied to mike the bike | 8 years ago
5 likes

mike the bike wrote:

 

Surely a motor spins the cranks, not the wheel?

 

Careful now, you might let common sense get in the way of their click-bait. 

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vonhelmet | 8 years ago
0 likes

Oh man, I'd forgotten that tow, that was hilarious.

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IanMunro | 8 years ago
5 likes

I'd have thought putting a headline picture that has nothing to do with Nibali's bike is the sort of thing they'd be looking at taking legal action about..
*I'm talking about the thermal one, not the taxi ride above  1

Avatar
terrycojones replied to IanMunro | 8 years ago
3 likes

IanMunro wrote:

I'd have thought putting a headline picture that has nothing to do with Nibali's bike is the sort of thing they'd be looking at taking legal action about..
*I'm talking about the thermal one, not the taxi ride above  1

Agreed. The lead thermal image is deceptive & irresponsible journalism.

 

Avatar
Gasman Jim | 8 years ago
4 likes

The spinning wheel is clearly not evidence of any kind of motor. If it's not touching the ground etc then of course it will spin for a while after a high speed crash.

However, this bit did make me laugh:

"The Astana Pro Team and Vincenzo Nibali reserve the right to take legal action in case someone will to threaten the image of the Team or of the athlete."

Boys, I don't think you need help from anyone else when it comes to sullying your image!

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/astanas-uneasy-ride-prof...

And of course not forgetting this:

 

Avatar
dreamlx10 | 8 years ago
1 like

Surely the point of using a motor woule be to win, and not get dropped by the holier than thou Sky train !

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kitkat | 8 years ago
4 likes

why would you use a motor on the descent?

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ts437 | 8 years ago
9 likes

Wheels spin. It's kind of the point of them right? If the rear wheel isn't touching the ground it will just keep going. Also why on earth would anyone be using a motor on a descent? Whoever saw that footage and thought - "yep definitely a motor" really needs to think a little harder

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 8 years ago
1 like

This is not the first wheel spin we've seen after a crash in recent years. Love to see this analysed properly and see if there's any credibility to it at all. No clue how a rear wheel should spin after a crash myself, but I'm guessing it should keep spinning as it'd be unrealistic for a wheel to go from 120RPM to 0 right away. The only resistance in this sort of crash is the drivetrain..

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rgriffith7 replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
0 likes

unconstituted wrote:

This is not the first wheel spin we've seen after a crash in recent years. Love to see this analysed properly and see if there's any credibility to it at all. No clue how a rear wheel should spin after a crash myself, but I'm guessing it should keep spinning as it'd be unrealistic for a wheel to go from 120RPM to 0 right away. The only resistance in this sort of crash is the drivetrain..

The only resistance is not the entire drivetrain but the ratchets on the freehub. The inertia of the wheel is not going to completely stop and I know when my bike is on the stand and I spin up the rear wheel it can take a long time to come to a stop.

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