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by Mark Zalewski
January 31, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: 60 Minutes report on motorized doping raises questions about Team Sky and UCI at 2015 Tour de France; French anti-doping expert says he was told a dozen riders used motors during the 2015 Tour de France; Loren Rowney announces her retirement and the beginning of a new chapter; Doctor and courier at centre of Team Sky mystery package scandal called to testify; Pauwels accepts van Aert’s apology but will not forget dispute; Mathieu van der Poel: ‘This is the biggest disappointment of my career’; Van Aert’s World Championship tire choice causes debate; RCS Sport shoots down extra Giro d’Italia wildcard proposal; UAE Abu Dhabi signs Moroccan champion Anass Ait el Abdia; Memorial ride held for cyclist killed in hit-and-run, suspect in custody; Nash and Zahner elected to UCI Athletes’ Commission for cyclocross; Photographer apologises to McLay for finish crash; Rider holds onto side of bridge after crash; Kangaroo surprises cyclists.
In a segment that aired Sunday evening in the United States, CBS News program 60 Minutes took on the subject of motorized doping in professional cycling, raising questions about Team Sky and the UCI at the 2015 Tour de France.
While no direct evidence was provided that Team Sky had cheated at the 2015 Tour, the segment, hosted by Bill Whitaker and focusing on Hungarian hidden-motor inventor Istvan “Stefano” Varjas, went to lengths to suggest that wrongdoing may have taken place. Asked if he believes bikes with hidden motors are being used in professional cycling, Varjas answered, “Yes, I know this. They are used, yes.”
Along with three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond and his wife Kathy, Varjas has cooperated with French police investigating the matter at the Tour de France, first in 2014 and again in 2015.
According to 60 Minutes, Varjas told French investigators that before the 2015 Tour he sold bikes with hidden motors to an unknown client, allegedly through a middle man, and was directed to deliver bikes into a locked storage room in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, a seaside village on the French Riviera located between Nice and Monaco.
In addition to motors that can fit in a frame, Varjas told the LeMonds he had also designed a motor that can be hidden inside the hub of rear wheel. The added weight, he told them, was about 800 grams (1.76 pounds).
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