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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 joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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