Kramon_AGR2015  12595 - Version 2
  • John_Irvine

    “It is also necessary that in the future we forbid changing bikes except for serious mechanical reasons.” I think this is key.

  • Matthew McArdle

    People being protective of their bike is not evidence of motors. It could just be superstition, or fear of tampering.

    To date we have zero reported cases in road cycling and 1 bike found at a cyclocross race that was not actually used.

    Motors in bikes are incredibly easy to detect and have zero deniability. Biological doping has been endemic for decades with 100s of cases and is very difficult to detect.

    Logic dictates that it is biological doping that needs stronger deterrents, and this hidden motors issue is easy to deal with by compulsory bike inspection of every bike.

    This looks like a distraction from the real issue and part media beat up.

    • Tony Abbott

      “To date we have zero reported cases….” – Don’t forget how unthinkable it was doping was widespread in the Peloton back in the day, you’ve got to pay attention to the warning signs and early rumours from the riders and managers, they’d know better than us spectators.

      “easy to deal with by compulsory inspection of every bike…” – Can someone else explain why this is a ridiculous statement. Just whip the cranks off every bike including the 10 spares before every single day of every single race. Easy. Whip that cassette off and give us a look Fabian. Yeah, easy.

      If anything, this ‘media beat up’ is simply showing the issue is far more complex than it would appear on the surface

    • jules

      I have to disagree. they’ve only been checking since very recently. saying that it’s “easy to deal with” means little, if they weren’t dealing with it. riders would have known that and it’s reasonable to suspect some would have taken advantage.

      we have 1 verified case – only after very publicly known checks had commenced.

      is it more or less likely that there were cases from before when the UCI was checking bikes? to me the answer is obvious.

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    • ebbe

      Good comment! I see your point Matthew, and agree almost completely: Pharmaceutical doping is – as far as we know – still much more rampant. In any sport by the way, not just cycling. The whole Van Den Driessche case is turning out to be a big fiasco as well: We were promised that the results would be published a week ago, but have heard nothing. If it was really the “clear cut case” the media wanted us to believe, and her choice not to defend herself is really “proof of guilt” as the internet trolls want us to believe, this case would have closed and filed already. But now, all of a sudden an “off the record” interview with a UCI official turns up in the media where he publicly questions if the UCI even has jurisdiction to confiscate suspect bikes? http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mechanical-doping-uci-commissaire-highlights-legal-grey-areas/ I’m sorry, but that’s something they should have thought of well in advance.

      That does not mean mechanical fraud (can we please stop calling it “mechanical doping”… it’s not doping!) is merely a minute detail in the cycling history books though. Honestly, the UCI hasn’t really started looking for it (on a serious scale) until January of this year. I do see their reasoning why: Picking apart every bike + all spares would be a full day’s work, which is undoable, especially in a stage race. And what if a rider has a mechanical failure, loses his GC, and subsequently blames the UCI for not putting his bike back together properly? Should they get team mechanics to do all the work and only observe/inspect? That would mean it would take even more time. I can see some other options that might work, but I’ll leave that out for now

      However, we also know that hidden motors in bike frames have existed for not just the last few years. They’ve existed since the 70’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YXDL7P7_zY. Since tests for pharmaceutical/biological doping have been stepped up, competition has improved and interests have grown, it makes perfect sense to assume athletes might move to other unethical options to continue winning. Di Luca (of all people) has said the most honest thing I’ve heard in years: “I do whatever I have to do to continue winning”. Even though there is indeed no hard evidence a motor was ever used in a race, I’m 100% confident in saying the UCI is severely lagging here. And what do they do when there is a well-researched item criticising their current approach and offering a very feasible additional (not alternative, but additional!) detection method? They brush it aside.

      We can’t accuse any athlete without hard evidence of mechanical fraud being used(!) in a race, and anybody who does should either put up the evidence or shut up. (Note: I’ve made that very clear in my comments on the various pieces on Van Den Driessche I would say ;-) Even though if you put a gun to my head I would *guess* she knew about the bike and was preparing to use it if needed, we can’t make such career ending accusations without hard proof). But criticising UCI for their initial inaction and current lack of urgency on this matter is warranted, I would say.

      So yes, I do agree with you almost completely, but would like to add a thought: However modern this whole UCI Cookson-era attitude of “we’re just here to facilitate processes and bring various parties together to listen to their voices” is, and however friendly a man Cookson might be… This is not the way to handle crises such as this (and the moto/car accidents crisis, and the Meldonium crisis, and the disc brakes crisis, and the bad weather crisis, and the dangerous courses crisis, …). In a crisis you need strong leadership saying: “This is how we’re going to handle this crisis, period.” Cookson hasn’t really handled any crisis properly yet. A trait you often see with “new style leaders” by the way.

    • ummm…

      How many times does the wool have to be pulled over your eyes to be more critical and cynical?

  • Callum Dwyer

    Will interesting to see how long until motorized bikes start being use in club racing.

    • jules

      people would notice if a club racer suddenly put out an extra 50 to 100 watts. questions would be asked :)

      I guess it’s the same in the pro ranks, but Omerta

      • Callum Dwyer

        Lol, yeah good one.

      • ebbe

        “Omerta”… or as Matt Brammeier likes to call it “riders sticking together” ;-)

    • Dave

      It is probably already happening.

      If all you need to do is buy a used bike off a 19 year old girl and throw in a motor, that seems to be an easier pathway to improvement than creating online identities to buy dodgy steroids not approved for human use. One gets you kicked out of a bike race, the other runs the risk of actual criminal charges.

      I don’t think the Sea Otter Classic holding an e-bike race is a positive step, outside of providing a good opportunity for an excellent April Fools Day article.

  • Duncan Lambie

    Arnaud Demare wasn’t punished for mechanical doping at Milan San Remo

    • Dave

      Perhaps because no motor was found in his bike?

      • jules

        hiding in plain sight :)

      • Duncan Lambie

        A motor in the hand is worth two in the tube

        • Sean Doyle

          That’s what she said!

  • Hamish Moffatt

    I could hardly read this post between the Bicycle Network ads. To make matters worse, one of the ads is even wrong – Peaks Challenge Falls Creek in August?! https://imgur.com/6syo9nd

    • Nitro

      I noticed that yesterday, but thought my eyes were playing tricks on me…
      Either that or its deliberate and Bicycle Network are running the “Jens Voigt Hardman edition” of the 3 Peaks – Up and Over Falls Creek and Hotham dodging the skiers and snowboarders…

      • Dave

        So Jens is spending his retirement getting into fat bikes then?

        • Nitro

          Jens wouldn’t use a fat bike – he’d just pedal faster on his roadie to make up for wheelspin…

      • Hamish Moffatt

        Alas I think the back of falls road is closed in winter…

        • Nitro

          If the laws of physics didn’t apply to Jens, the Jens-Hardman-Edition of the 3Peaks surely wouldn’t worry about such trivial things… If the road’s closed either (a) pedal faster to outrun the authorities, or (b) slung bike over shoulder and hike up…

  • Cam

    It’s hard to see how the potential issue of mechanical doping can’t be easily fixed. In motor sport it is compulsory for every car that races to go through scrutineering and be signed-off for competition by independent scrutineers, with a sticker and log book indicating as much. Even at a grass roots level of motor sport this scrutineering is undertaken to a relatively sophisticated level. Surely a similar compulsory process could be established for cycling.

    • Steve G

      That’s a lot of bikes to get through; couldn’t they just swap the magic, motorised wheel over after the checks?

      • Cam

        It works for 200+ cars at a race meeting and has for many years. From F1 to Go Karts the process is the same.
        World Tour cycling is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport, if they can’t find a solution with the technology available today then they are doing something wrong.

        • Steve G

          The obvious point being that cars aren’t bikes; it’s probably easier to change some of the bike parts out as opposed to a car?
          200+ cars, how many people are doing the testing!?

        • jules

          let’s also bear in mind that despite scrutineering, cheating is rife in motorsports

    • Shane Stokes

      Hey Cam, Greg LeMond called for precisely that recently – here’s the article https://cyclingtips.com/2016/02/motors-in-bikes-greg-lemonds-six-ways-to-eradicate-mechanical-doping/

  • Dave

    Well done to P******e G*****t’s agent here, ‘Phil hates cheats’ might prove to be a useful character reference when he goes on trial.

  • Abdu

    Big call from a rider who has had a few questioning how it is he does so well in just his contract years? From a pretty average rider, to one who won every Classic virtually by turning up, against Astana* riders…positively glowing he was.

    Pfft…

    • Dave

      I wonder if he ever fiddled with a button just before the Cauberg?

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