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A day after Femke Van den Driessche denied that the bike found to have a motor in it at the world cyclocross championships was hers, another Belgian has stated that he owns the machine in question.
Family friend Nico Van Muylder has been named as the individual in question, according to Het Nieuwsblad (see video here). “All I can say is that it’s my bike…” he said, declining to speak further.
Van den Driessche was plunged into controversy on Saturday when the UCI said that ‘technological fraud’ may have been committed at the under 23 race at the cyclocross world championship. Her name was connected to the story by Belgian media and later confirmed by the UCI.
On Sunday UCI president Brian Cookson said a motor had been found in the bike, which had been tested in the pit area.
Details are scarce but it is thought it was a spare bike rather than the bike she started the race on.
Riders often change bikes during muddy cyclocross races.
On Sunday she denied trying to cheat.
“It’s not my bike. There’s been a mistake,” she told Sporza.
According to her version of things, she used to own the bike but no longer does so.
“That bike belongs to a friend of mine. He bought it from me after last season, it’s exactly the same bike as I use. That friend explored the course with my brother and had the bike against the truck. One of my mechanics must have thought that it was my bike and had it cleaned and taken [to the pits].
“That boy will sometimes train with me or with my brothers, but I never knew that there was a motor in the bike. He never told me. It’s all a mistake and I’m really badly scared. I feel very bad.”
The UCI’s investigation is ongoing, and will likely examine the claim that the bike belonged to someone else.
Van den Driessche has said she wasn’t aware that a motor had been added to the bike.