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Amateur cyclist in Italy caught using hidden motor during race

Alessandro Andreoli's bike was checked following rumours that concealed motors were being used in local races...

An amateur cyclist in Italy has been caught using an electric motor concealed in the frame of his bike during a race.

Alessandro Andreoli, aged 53, had finished third at the race at Bedizolle near Brescia on Saturday, where the first prize was a food hamper, reports the Corriere della Sera.

But afterwards, officials found a motor concealed in the frame of his Argon 18 bike.

The hidden motor was found with the help of a thermal scanner lent by a to organisers by a businessman who is passionate about cycling.

Before the race, the riders were told that bicycles of the first five finishers would be checked for hidden motors.

The controls were said to have been carried out following rumours in recent months that hidden motors were being used in races in the region.

> People behind motor doping website reveal it was a honeypot operation

The judges asked Andreoli, who has reportedly won several races this season, to remove the saddle from the bike.

He declined to do because he was worried of damaging the cables for his electornic gears.

Instead, the judges suggested that the bike be checked over by a specialist mechanic, which he agreed to.

However, as he went to put the bike in the boot, it appears the insults that were being thrown at Andreoli by others who had competed in the race got a bit much for him.

He took his bike and walked off, with the words “I’m suspending myself” – although it will be national cycling federation that will determine the next step.

Last year, Belgian under-23 cyclo-cross rider Femke van den Driessche was banned for six years for technological fraud after a hidden motor was found in her bike at the World Championships, the first time such a device has been found.

> Full coverage of mechanical doping here

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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