Riders caught with motors in their bikes could be fined CHF 200,000 and be immediately banned for six months under new UCI regulations


Professional cyclists caught using motors in their bikes face a sixth-month suspension and a fine of 200,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) under new regulations brought in by the sport’s governing body, the UCI.

Under clause 12.1.013, teams and riders “have the duty to use bikes with all approved components, measures and weighing a stipulated”. Only UCI approved improvements, such as the use of disc brakes, are allowed.

As reported in Spanish newspaper AS and Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, riders face immediate disqualification and a fine from CHF 20,000 to CHF 200,000, while teams could be fined up to CHF 1,000,000.

The report by Cycling’s Independent Reform Commission made explicit reference to motorised doping when released in March, something which UCI president Brian Cookson needs to be investigated.

“The International Cycling Union takes very seriously the issue of technological doping, such as the ability to hide and make a profit from the use of electric motors,” Cookson is quoted as saying in AS. “The CIRC report confirms the need to act decisively”

Cookson confirmed that spot-checks were carried out on bikes during Paris-Nice and Milan San-Remo with no irregularities found.

“We plan to further test on other machines throughout the international calendar,” Cookson added.

Accusations of motorised doping have been going around for years, with the below video showing how a powered bike may work, and then there was what happened when Ryder Hesjedal fell off his bike at last year’s Vuelta a España.

Both AS and Gazzetta report that the UCI has abandoned its use of an expensive scanner, which cost €60,000 per rental, in favour of using probes to detect motors.

One expert told Gazzetta that the UCI has the power to take apart the bikes, as well as check bikes from the team car, as a rider may switch from a motorised bike in the final stages of a race.

  • TG

    If it was possible to put a motor strong enough to make a difference at world class level, then I’m sure you would have already seen these for sale. The current electric bikes have enormous motors that are ver heavy. I for one will only believe it when I see it. Can’t see the point in wasting UCI time lookijng for these because we think the technology exists. Catch the dopers first!

  • Erin

    I’m not sure that there is any evidence other than rumour etc. But the technology exists in a manner that could be sufficiently hidden and teams/riders have done stupider things in the past.

    I personally think it’s a good idea that the UCI are getting ahead of any potential motor use by putting in sanctions and checks now. We would all be criticising the UCI for being behind the times if motors were found later in the season (e.g. after a frame broke in a crash) and the UCI had nothing specific in place.

  • Chris

    As with TG. Has anybody ever seen a motorized bike in the peloton? Pictures required with instances please!

  • Anthony Bowles

    Doesn’t take much extra power as at some point in a race the winner goes faster than anyone else, be it for a longer or shorter period. A utube clip shows it is feasible.

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    On the one hand it seems you can’t take it seriously, on the other there’s Hesjedal’s bike’s behaviour which is just inexplicable.

  • NJAgent020

    anything to deflect from actual doping. I mean “mechanical doping”??? is he serious? Then again, if people are ever found to be using electric motors on these events, professional road cycling needs to go away for good- it will have lost any shred of credibility it has… and it has so very little as is.

  • TG

    Is there any evidence that motors are being used? Seems like a waste of time to me.