Time trial bikes tested using an x-ray machine on stage 13

Cycling’s governing body the UCI today used x-rays to test for bikes at the Tour de France stage 13 time trial, part of its move to widen the number of methods used to prevent and detect so-called technological fraud.

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The tests, which were pictured in a tweet by Katusha, take place in a tent at the stage finish, with an operator taking an x-ray of the bottom bracket and seat tube, and any other parts of the bike that could possibly contain a motor.

Before the Tour de France the UCI announced that it would be employing “additional methods of detection” as well as the magenetic resistance tests that it has used in the past. We assumed that this would this would include the use of thermal imaging cameras, which the UCI had been criticised for not using after a Stade 2 documentary used them to claim that motors were being used at Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali.

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The UCI has also previously dismissed the use of x-rays as a method for detecting motors. In May, Mark Barfield, the governing body’s Technical Manager, said that the UCI would not be using x-rays to find motors because of safety concerns, administrative difficulties, and the fact that the “image were not as clear as expected”.