Alberto Contador says it's ridiculous that anyone would think he would use a motorised bike after a French journalist accused him of doing so

Alberto Contador has called rumours that he was using a motorised bike in the Giro d’Italia ‘ridiculous’, after a French journalist made the accusation.

L’Equipe’s chief cycling writer Philippe Brunel claims that Contador hadn’t actually punctured when he changed a rear wheel with Ivan Basso after the descent from Aprica on stage 16.

Having been dropped initially to change his wheel, Contador got going again and sped past everyone to finish third, nearly three minutes ahead of Fabio Aru. Basso, meanwhile, was able to put in Contador’s wheel and continue without waiting for the team car, according to Brunel.

“It seems ridiculous that someone might think you‘re going to put a motor on a bicycle in your career,” Contador is quoted as saying in Spanish newspaper AS.

>>> How fast did Alberto Contador scale the Passo di Mortirolo?

L’ Équipe insists today: “The Spaniard won his second Giro, ahead of Fabio Aru, altered by its ‘fake’ puncture on the descent from the Aprica last Tuesday.”

Going on to explain: “Contador tells of how Basso had given him his wheel. But the Italian should have finished, logically, at the edge of the road with the wheel in his hand (according to Contador, because of a nail, as Oleg Tinkov posted that night on Twitter in a photo), but he resumed the route without waiting for your technical car.”

It concluded: “Contador, therefore, did not have a puncture, simply changed the wheel.

Contador was one of the riders whose bike was tested for hidden motors after stage 18, two days later, but clearly nothing was found.

The Spaniard and his bike manufacturer Specialized insisted there was no foul play, but gave El Pistolero a motorised mountain bike to ride after the finish of the final stage.

Alberto Contador after stage twenty-one of the 2015 Tour of Italy (Watson)

Alberto Contador after stage twenty-one of the 2015 Tour of Italy (Watson)

Motorised doping hit the headlines after the publication of the CIRC report earlier in the year, when a number of riders claimed that rivals were using enhanced bikes in races.

In last year’s Vuelta a España, Ryder Hesjedal’s bike came under scrutiny when it appeared to move on its own after the Canadian fell off.

  • gh

    Cycling Weekly, why don’t you pull the other comment that refers to ‘sleazy italians’?

  • gh

    Cycling Weekly, why don’t you pull the comment from mike_in_brum?

  • mike_in_brum

    Spaniards are liars and manipulators. They woukd use any possible trick to win.

  • Psalmon

    Where is the video of Basso replacing the wheel and continuing. I just watched RAI on demand and during the wheel swap, during the Aprica descent, they were showing a train than climbs the pass and then they they went to commercial, and then they come back and there’s a split. At no time during the ensuing chase, did they go back and show any replay video of what happened. I’d like to see the video of Basso just continuing on with the “flat”.

  • Patricia Jones

    If I understand the allegation correctly Contador staged a delay so that Astana could get ahead and he could catch them on a motorised bike, but not so motorised as to get him the stage win, It doesn’t make sense.
    The absence of TV coverage is the norm, the cameras miss a lot of key moments.

  • markholds

    What’s interesting though is that Tinkof published a photo supposedly of Contador’s tyre with a big nail in it. In fact it can’t have had a big nail in it since Basso didn’t have to stop.
    No explanation of this has been given by the team.

  • Desbil

    The French and for that matter the Italians are a bunch of sore losers period.Next year the sleazy
    Italians should inject doping material in Fabio Aru from stage 18 and not stage 19 & 20