British Cycling tested 1,310 bikes for technical fraud in 2016

In a move to try and deter people from racing with concealed motors, British Cycling tested 1,310 bikes in 2016.

BC became the first national governing body to test for hidden motors when it checked bikes at the National Time Trial and Road Championships in Stockton.

They then vowed to test at all levels of the sport and on a number of occasions each month. They began to test on a regular basis from the end of July.

Most of the 1,310 tests took place at national and regional championships, but BC have said that they can test at any level and any discipline, although so far only road and cyclocross races have seen commissaires check for technical fraud.

>>> Cycling Time Trials test record number of riders for anti-doping violations

Only UCI commissaires can test bikes and BC hope to be in a position where they can eventually train commissaires internally, rather than having to send them to UCI training.

The method BC are using is the same as the UCI’s, whereby a magnetometer is attached to an iPad that gives readings. The Tour de France last year used another two ways to detect concealed motors alongside the UCI’s: a motor-bike thermal detector and a military-grade system provided by the French state.

British Cycling say that the tests are designed to act as a deterrent to people who might consider using a motor. It will continue to test at races in 2017, but insist that the number of tests they will carry out is not target-driven.

Last January saw the first confirmed case of ‘motor doping’ when a hidden motor was found in Femke Van den Driessche’s spare bike at the U23 cyclo-cross world championships, for which she was subsequently banned for six years. Italian and French press also claim that motors were used in the 2016 Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali.