The news that a bike fitted with a motor had been found at the Cyclocross World Championships shocked everyone in cycling despite the persistent rumours that have come up time and again over the last five or six years.

We took advantage of the gathering of big industry names at last week’s London Bike Show to ask manufacturers and riders what they thought of the latest, but very different, doping scandal to envelop cycling – motorised bikes.

A wide range of opinions were expressed on the punishment that should be given the Fiemke Van den Driessche and her team, and the wider repercusions for the sport.

Some were inclined to see a silver-lining to the scandal, with James Olson of Hoy Bikes saying that he’d ‘rather see young riders using motors in their bikes than messing around with blood bags’ and Harry Gibbings, CEO of motorised bike manufacturer Typhoon Bicycles, hoping that the UCI showing that it is able to detect motors in bikes will deter their use in future.

However, others weren’t quite so cheerful, with Malcolm Elliot saying that the repurcussions for a rider’s career could be worse than if they were caught doping, and Canyon’s Nick Allen echoing many others elsewhere in the sport by calling on the UCI to step up its checks for motors in bikes.

  • Mike Prytherch

    “cheating is cheating…. Not true ?” How can you say that ?, it makes no difference to the seriousness of the cheat, it’s still cheating.

    Of course there are different levels of cheating, hence why we have different levels of punishment, but it’s still cheating.

    The reason I dislike the comment is that it “could be” read as…. If you are going to cheat, at least cheat in a way that doesn’t harm you, I much prefer a simpler way…. Don’t cheat. Now I guess you could argue that he didn’t mean that, and yes you could be right, but there are people out there who will read it like I did.

  • Ant

    I don’t think James Olson’s comments are unwise at all. There will always be cheating – end of story. Should it ever be tolerated due to that constant – absolutely not. But in that context, his view reflects common sense.

  • ummm…

    These are grown adults that are seriously trying to make an argument that “mechanical” doping is a greater threat/insult than pharma doping? Pathetic. Every last one. The only one with any sense at least tries to draw comparison based upon the real work health effects to the rider. If these are the brain trusts that drive the companies in the industry then there is no wonder cycling as an authority is constantly being chastised. the only thing that keeps cycling “popular” is that the everyman and every woman get out on their bikes every day to work or play – and it is a great way to do so.

  • Simon E

    Like James Olson, I find the thought of someone injecting drugs or using
    blood manipulation harder to cope with than riding a bike with a hidden

    Interesting to see so many former riders very quick to condemn Femke but much less outspoken on the use of pharmaceuticals.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    Cheating is cheating is cheating, however you try to spin it.

  • Mike Prytherch

    James Olson… whilst I’m sure your heart was in the right place as motors don’t affect the health of the rider, it was an utterly stupid comment and you should really have more sense, cheating is cheating.